Charlottesville.

Nazis to the right of me, Commies to the left—here we are, stuck in the middle with QNUW. 

Just kidding.  This isn’t some empty posturing about the merits of political centrism—mainly because there is no middle ground between Nazis and communists, as far as we’re concerned; they’re both chips off the same block of modernity, and they both reek of the same outdated nihilism that was popular in high school.  Your commies want to differentiate people by class—or these days, by gender as well as race—and remove the ones that don’t fit their paradigm.  The Nazis want to differentiate people by class—and to a degree, by gender as well as race—and remove the ones that don’t fit their paradigm.  As the Charlottesville tragedy this weekend pointed out, they only fundamentally disagree on one specific issue: which classes, genders, and races are the ones to side with.

Before we get into this, it’s important to note a few things.  The Antifa crowds were no less rowdy and violent than they were at Berkley a few months ago.  This was a riot in which both sides partook—perhaps rightfully so, since it’s getting tiresome hearing of these Antifa gatherings as being peaceful protests while seeing the incongruous images of bleeding faces and broken noses.  The Right Wing demonstrators had filed all the necessary permits and even had their right to organize validated by a Federal Court, and still the city eventually got them to shut it down and disperse.  But Antifa?  Not a chance.  Let the bandana-clad thugs parading around with mace go unescorted through the streets and unsupervised by the cops, but those scary right-wingers, holding their outdated flags and refusing to obfuscate their identities—those guys are the real threat.  Forget the papers needed to organize.  Forget that Antifa is just a group that exists to harass people and has no coherent platform of their own.  Dox those white supremacist terrorists holding up Tiki Torches and shouting playground obscenities!  Get ‘em all fired from their jobs!  These evil fucking fascists don’t seem to realize that we’re trying to bash their heads in because we want to end hate!

And the critics can gin up all the hysteria they want attempting to label these kids as authentic neo-Nazis, but everyone who sees the photographs can tell the difference between the hardened troops of Einsatzgruppen that marched across the Slavic countries and the pale, skinny, internet-browsing Millennials that showed up to do some live-action role playing at night.  Their distinct lack of taste should be pointed out and even ridiculed, which many on the Left are already doing, but you can’t ridicule something while calling it a legitimate threat to the social order at the same time.  It’s either an insignificant joke or it’s something to violently repel.  Committing violence against jokes is the sort of extremism you’d expect from bearded gunmen who slaughter cartoonists over poorly drawn representations of Mohammed.  Then again, we’re all aware of the sort of company the Left likes to keep, too.

But to the issue at hand: the people who waved around their confederate flags at Charlottesville were the sort of LARPers you run into at a Renaissance Festival.  They’re either overweight or underweight, typically subsiding off of a poor diet, and their social skills are, generally, less-than-impressive.  They’re in it for the comradery and, since it’s a political movement, they’re in it to address legitimate concerns.  But they’re also confused, at least insofar as they think waving around the Stars and Bars means anything tangible in today’s atmosphere.  A few of them even seem to believe that pitching a roman salute and wearing swastika-reminiscent garb is going to help their cause, either oblivious or apathetic to how bad the optics of such behavior.  Instead of coming across like warriors defending Western and American freedom, they just end up looking like basketcase has-beens who might as well be calling themselves the Know-Nothings or Whigs.  If their intent was to use the optics to strike fear into their enemies, then a crucifix would have better served their goal.  Nazi iconography is as kitsch as it is in blindingly poor taste.  And staging a night rally dotted with fires makes their optics even worse—so bad, in fact, that it almost looks like a conscious attempt to completely discredit the entire movement as Klan romanticism.

But all of that said, there is a conversation that certain elites in this country do not want the people to have.  It is not the conversation that they insist is being silenced—the one BLM activists claim to be about racial oppression of blacks, or the one feminist activists insist is the gender-based discrimination against women in particular sectors of the economy, for instance.  It is the conversation on whiteness and maleness and their status in a world divided by identity politics.  The Left demands that a majority of the country bow down in apology for actions that the Left even admits these people aren’t aware of.  The Left demands that half of that majority voluntarily take the lowest rung on the new caste system it has put forward.  The Left demands that everyone acknowledge the existence of this caste system ordered according to the redistribution of victimhood.  Naturally, the Left is out of their damn minds, but that hasn’t stopped them from winning friends in high places.  Friends like most of the mainstream media, or like half of the establishment Republican party, or like nearly the entire academic system from public schooling grade K through 12 through 12 + 4.

As optics go, it’s a tactical misdiagnosis.  The Alt-Reichers perpetually demonstrate the degree of their ignorance.  Communists thrive on fighting fascists.  They threw twenty-six-odd millions of their own Soviet soldiers against them in the war and trampled over their corpses just to kill Nazis.  A lot of them didn’t even have functioning guns.  But the Christians?  Christians thrive on martyrdom, and while you can still find churches in the post-Soviet states, the only places you can find Lenin statutes are their junkyards and memorial graveyards.  And Seattle.

The Alt-Right will get nowhere the more it LARPs behind swastikas and lightning bolts.  It will get nowhere the more its advocates try to lie for symbols of the dead regime, call them weapons against the Narrative, and use them to stroke their own egos so drenched in irony that they can’t even recognize right from wrong.  In the meantime, their irony will let them continue to ignore, with clear conscience, the necessary conversations on ethnicity, immigration, faith, and culture in favor of confused debates on genetics, IQ, and economics.  The facts are on our side, they will declare, and perhaps they’ll be right—I won’t pretend to know.  But the problems those issues address are worthy of conversations only after multiculturalism has been addressed, after the single-mindedly histrionic attack against Western civilization is quelled, and after the riots in the streets have been eradicated and reasonable discourse has been reestablished in the public sphere.  Nazism clearly isn’t going to do that, and those delusional enough to believe that it can need to brush up on their contemporary history.

Oh, and by the way, the guy that drove his Charger into the crowd and killed someone was mentally unstable and probably schizophrenic, but you won’t see anyone seriously trying to defend or explain away his behavior like we’ve seen in other vehicular attacks and acts of violence.  As should be expected today, exceptions are exceptions only when it suits the narrative.  Pray for the victims, bring the driver to justice, and move on.  When even the conservatives are vilifying the demonstration and trying to connect a thousand-plus right-wingers, misguided as they are, to an actual madman, the enemy they’re pretending exists in the form of the Alt-Right will manifest itself into one that’s more dangerous than they’re prepared for.  We’ve already begun to see this in action on the Left.  And until legitimate concerns are addressed instead of being sidelined by distractions, this sort of violence is only going to get worse.

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