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Internet Bloodsports

[1]2,411 words

January 2018 was truly a historic month for White Nationalism as we saw our movement break out of the echo chamber in a big way.

For as much attention as White Nationalism gets from the mainstream media, it is rare to see an honest representation of our ideas. Even the Alt Lite avoided them. To hear our ideas, people still had to seek them out. You had to go to a website, go to a message board, download a podcast, etc. They had to step into our world. Into our echo chamber.

But suddenly White Nationalists have successfully colonized a small corner of YouTube and have encountered normies. We find ourselves battling stubborn CivNats and slippery libertarians as we push inland towards lush parts of the internet outside our echo chamber.

If you are a White Nationalist, you are probably now of the belief that there is a greater than 50% chance that YouTuber Andy Warski [2] is the Chosen One as prophesized by the ancients who has been appointed by God to save the white race in our hour of desperate need. I leave that one to the theologians.

But one could be forgiven for thinking that because in just a few short weeks, Andy Warski and his YouTube show Warski Live have revitalized and re-energized the movement and has caused a persistent buzz throughout the greater alt media universe.

[3]I can only imagine what it must be like to be one of the people who started following Andy Warski when he was still a normie-friendly comedian/commentator doing funny videos and innocuous chat streams with other equally normie-friendly e-celebs. This was in fact only a couple months ago.

Then out of the blue, Warski hires race realist biologist J. F. Gariepy to be the co-host of his show and in the space of one month, introduces his audience to virtual “who’s who” in White Nationalists: Millennial Woes, Richard Spencer, Mike Enoch, Greg Johnson, James Allsup, Nick Fuentes, the Alternative Hypothesis, Jared Taylor, and more.

I have to say that I envy Warksi’s normie followers. It took me years to discover all those people. Warski’s normie fans are getting a serious crash course in White Nationalism.

And if you are a White Nationalist, you are probably also of the opinion that internet bloodsports is the greatest thing since . . . well, ever.

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Andy Warski’s “internet bloodsports” model for political debate is in many ways truly revolutionary. Warski has pioneered a discussion format that makes “big brained politics” fun, exciting, intense, and raw. It is neither a Crossfire-style shoutfest, nor is it a gentlemanly Oxford affair. Rather, it’s like an intellectual Fight Club. A sort of demolition derby for smart guys.

Throughout the month of January, a series of high-profile YouTube debates occurred, the most noteworthy being JF vs Destiny [5], Richard Spencer vs Sargon of Akkad [6], Greg Johnson vs Styx [7], Mike Enoch vs Antifa [8], and Mister Metokur vs Laura Loomer [9].

Consensus opinion is these debates were White Nationalist victories, and it’s hard to deny that they’ve had a noticeable effect of pushing the Overton Window and shaking up the playing field to our advantage. All of a sudden, liberals and libertarians are talking about race realism and ethnostates. Not flatteringly, mind you, but it is a sign that White Nationalists are driving the discussion and choosing the topics.

Consider, in the last week Paul Nehlen appeared on Alex Jones’s InfoWars channel, David Duke’s podcast, and was interviewed by Rebel Media. That is quite remarkable when you consider that a year ago, only David Duke would have gone anywhere near someone with Paul Nehlen’s views. Alt Lite figures Tree of Knowledge, StyxHexenHammer, No Bullshit, Ricky Vaughn, and Jesse Lee Peterson held discussions with White Nationalists throughout January.

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That people outside our movement are becoming more willing to engage with us is an encouragement development. The movement has been in an “Us Against the World” siege mentality for so long that some had forgotten that having allies was even a possibility.

With the “Branding Wars” settled, I see no reason why we cannot have better relations with the less disagreeable figures outside our movement. There was a time when one could make an argument that associating with moderates might confuse the media and public about what we believe. But at this point, I think most of the public is aware that there is a difference between the Alt Lite and White Nationalism. And no one is trying to co-opt the “Alt Right” label anymore either.  Everyone knows what “Alt Right” means, and ain’t no one’s gonna call themselves “Alt Right” that doesn’t mean it.

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Additionally, our own platforms are under assault all over the internet, so it’s probably a good idea to have some access to other platforms. Plus, there’s also the obvious consideration that if you want to normalize your ideology, you have to go where the normies are.

Perhaps this is a sign that the Overton Window is shifting, possibly (at least in part) of the result the impact internet bloodsports has had demonstrated White Nationalism’s ability to get views and generate buzz for the platforms that host them.

“Bloodsports” is an appropriate name for this phenomenon because in these sort of debates, one can do more than merely lose the debate. You can completely wreck your reputation, social standing, or even career by looking like dishonest, uninformed, or just plain stupid.

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The definitive example here would be Sargon of Akkad whose dismal performance and dishonest arguments in a bloodsport against Richard Spencer had far-reaching consequences. The embarrassment of Sargon’s loss was so great and the damage to the Skeptic brand so extensive, that Sargon and his community are in the process of re-branding themselves as “Liberalists” (because they believe in classical liberalism, you see).  The Liberalists are not so much a movement or an ideology as much as they a think tank of white kids trying to come up with reasons not become White Nationalists.

Another example would be SJW YouTuber Omni Destiny. His loss to J. F. Gariepy in a debate over race realism appeared to trigger a mental breakdown in the lad. This resulted in him going on a libel and slander spree all over social media. This culminated in Omni getting banned from Twitter and is now facing a lawsuit for slander [13].

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Making the world safe for people who can’t tell a fedora from a trilby

Likewise, Styx was the consensus loser in his debate with Greg Johnson. This apparently provoked some serious soul-searching in Styx who the decided that maybe centrism wasn’t for him after all. So internet bloodsports is not just a nice tool for winning converts. It’s also great for discrediting your rivals.

And this is what makes internet bloodsports thrilling: that they are in a way “for real.” They are great entertainment but have so far shown that they can have actual real-world consequences. Whereas mainstream media figures can say ridiculous things every day of their life without any detrimental effect to their career, self-employed alt media figures need their credibility to thrive.

To get the full effect of internet bloodsports, you have to watch them live because YouTube’s Super Chat feature serves as the audience for these gladiatorial spectacles. This allows the people watching live to inject commentary into the discussion and influence the conversation. They’re still enjoyable on replay, but to get the real “bareknuckle prizefight in an abandoned warehouse” experience, watching live is recommended.

To add an extra layer of unpredictability, new participants can enter or leave the debate throughout the course of the stream, often at the Super Chat audience’s request. If one person is being ganged up on by other debaters or if one side if performing stronger than or if the conversation gets stale, an additional debater may be thrown in to shake things up.

While these matches are indeed great fun, what really intrigues is their obvious potential as a propaganda tool and as a means of redpilling normies.

How effective internet bloodsports are as a tool for redpilling and recruiting normies remains to be seen. It’s normal for there to be a digestion period between one’s first contact with White Nationalist ideas and finally embracing them. Seeing that the bloodsports trend is barely a month old, we may not see the full benefits for a few months.

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But the potential for bloodsports to be an effective propaganda tool is clearly there. One of the things bloodsports have done is bring a lot of the various factions of the greater Alt Media universe together.

Case in point is the January 22 stream [9] on Baked Alaska channel. The stream featured over the course of +3 hours Mike Enoch, Laura Loomer, Lauren Southern, Andy Warski, and Mister Metokur. That would be two people from the Alt Lite (Loomer and Southern), two people who emerged out of the Skeptic Community (Warski and Metokur), and a prominent White Nationalist (Enoch). Seeing that everyone was drawing from slightly different fanbases, all the participants are sure to get new eyes on them and has an opportunity to win converts. Assuming they don’t say something stupid, that is.

And there is reason for optimism. According to Coach Red Pill’s monthly YouTube rankings, [16] White Nationalists who had recently participated in a Warski bloodsport (JF, Richard Spencer, Millennial Woes, Alternative Hypothesis) had all shown significant growth. It’s also worth noting that the #1 channel on CRP’s YouTube rankings is Kronos, an account that aggregates Alt Right content for easy YouTube consumption.

And indeed buzz they have generated.

Throughout the month of January, it has been like the Super Bowl was happening every few days in my Twitter feed. Whether it was Spencer vs Sargon or Enoch vs Antifa, my feed was full of people live-tweeting the debate, giving play-by-play commentary, and of course, heckling rival fans. Post-match analysis comes later and then the memes [17]. The glorious memes immortalizing all blunders and absurd arguments of losing debaters.

Internet bloodsports has already produced some classic memes. Of course, there’s also Sargon’s infamous appeal to authority “Haven’t you even read Locke?” and Styx’s progressively preposterous “You can’t have an ethnostate because what if…?” scenarios have been lampooned into oblivion. Murdoch Murdoch, White Nationalism’s answer to South Park, devoted an entire episode [18] ridiculing Sargon of Akkad’s abysmal debate performance.

It’s much the same on WN message boards where the last bloodsport match tends to dominate the conversation until the next one happens. If nothing else, internet bloodsports have given people in the movement something to talk about other than infight.

While I’ve never been a sports fan, I’ve always envied how a sports fan can walk up to a completely stranger, start talking about sports, and have instant rapport. It’s a shame professional sports has become hopelessly degenerate, as there is some real social value to sports as something for people in a community to bond over. The effects of internet bloodsports has had on morale is immeasurable.

So what is the future of internet bloodsports? Well, I could see it becoming the next big thing, but I could also see it becoming a fad.

The biggest problem with internet bloodsports so far is the shortage of quality opponents willing to debate White Nationalists. After Sargon’s debate drubbing and the weeks of public ridicule that followed, most Skeptics appear to be are afraid to debate White Nationalists, and I don’t blame them. And many liberals refuse to debate White Nationalists in principle, believing that even engaging us legitimizes our positions.

When Jared Taylor appeared on Warski Live on January 31, Andy Warski said that he asked 12 people to debate Taylor, but they all declined on the grounds that they needed to do more research first. In other words, they were saying “I know Jared Taylor is wrong. I just need to figure out why first.”

But this issue presents a problem for White Nationalists. Warski Live has been an asset to the movement precisely because it hosts discussions outside our own echo chamber. But if people become too scared to debate us, then Warski Live risks of turning into another echo chamber.

The ideal bloodsport opponent for our purposes would be someone of a different ideology with a large fanbase and high name recognition. The issue is that a person like that would not have much to gain by entering into debate that could severely tarnish his image. We got lucky with Sargon of Akkad, because while he had all the ingredients for a good opponent, he also lacked the self-awareness to realize that debating the Alt Right was a very bad idea.

It would be hard for White Nationalists to create their own version of Warski Live because liberals and moderates would be less inclined to debate White Nationalists where they believed we had home field advantage. The bloodsports model depends on the perception of Andy Warski as a centrist and Warski Live as neutral ground for a debate.

Surely there must be some SJW comedians in the world of standup willing to step up to fill the void. Comics tend to be serious attention whores, and most could use the exposure. Surely, there must be a few out there willing to debate some racists in order to plug their web series.

Another danger is that internet bloodsports could become low-brow.

In the aforementioned Baked Alaska stream, various alt media figures spent over three hours crucifying Laura Loomer over her various boneheaded misdeeds (the tire, the doxxing, stalking allegations). While this was a very amusing stream and good times were had by all, but you couldn’t help noticing light it was on intellectual substance. It was fun but only in a dirty pro wrestling sort of way.

Warski’s bloodsports model is simple enough that it would be easier for someone else to steal it and then just make it dumber. Seeing that the insults are some of the best remembered moments, why not just forgo the intellectual sparring and just make bloodsports about insults, gossips, and scandal?

And of course, there is the ever-present possibility of censorship. Liberals have become aware [19] of internet bloodsports, and the SLPC recently posted an article [20] on the trend.

Whatever the future holds for internet bloodsports, they are for the time being fresh and fascinating spectacles. Hopefully they will continue until there is only one ideology left standing. But even if internet bloodsports do turn out to be just a fad, that’s all the more reason to enjoy them while you can.