I started posting on 4chan in 2005. It was different then. The /pol/ board wasn’t a thing. I didn’t own a cell phone. “Meme” was not a word people used.
In the background: war in the Middle East, George Bush, and little magnetic bumper-stickers that said “Support our troops” – You could collect them off the cars and put them on your fridge, if you wanted to.
/pol/ existed in various forms over the years, as /n/ and /news/. Each one was stamped-out for being too racist. The seed was there from the beginning. Why? I can only guess. A swastika was good trolling material, and high school nerds gravitate towards Nazis. They’re edgy and have always been.
Punks wore swastikas in the 70s. My friends drew them on their pencil boxes in elementary school. We knew they were bad. Once, on face painting day, someone asked me to draw a swastika on their forehead. He rode the bus home with it. Next morning: “my uh… dad… didn’t like it.”
So the boards were shut down two or three times. They were never particularly popular, and went unnoticed by the average user. But after every shutdown, the /pol/ posters infected the other boards. Under pressure from the community, an his own guilt around free-speech issues, m00t reinstated /pol/ as a “containment board.” The intention was to keep the Nazis from infecting the rest of the site. It worked… until it busted out, infecting the entire internet.
Reddit came into my life in 2007. The average IQ was 120 and there were no subreddits. One of the founders was a free-speech radical named Aaron Schwartz. People talked about nice stuff.
That same year, a little blog called Unqualified Reservations appeared, from a guy named Mencious Moldbug. The author, a genius of some sort, had some money and was taking a sabbatical to read a bunch of really old fuckin books. His blog would lead to the creation of Neoreaction. 6 years later I would find out about it.
Reddit grew quickly. Aaron left and, as a side-project, broke into a government facility with the intention of liberating paywalled scientific data. The Feds got him. There was a strong libertarian lean on Reddit before that, and his arrest pushed a lot of people into political radicalization.
There was a third party too, all this time. Something awful: SomethingAwful.com. I did not go there, but it was a hotbed of internet-culture innovation. Doxxing and advanced trolling was perfected within its forums. They even did some crowd-funded scat porn. It also (maybe) birthed this guy, Weev:
Weev was a troll. A really good one. He (purportedly) ran some racist meme squad on SA… before that was a cool thing to do. He was a free-speech guy like Aaron.
The three sites: 4chan, Reddit, and SA, shared users. There was synergy.
The stock market crashed in 2008. It was not good. People got pissed about it. I was safely employed, though. A hiring freeze was instated the week after I got my first grown-up job.
Crimethinc, an anarcho “ex-workers ex-collective” was churning out some very compelling literature at the time, and it colonizing the fringes at a rapid pace. I got pamphlets handed to me at punk shows. I eventually got into primitivism, saved up my money, and quit my job for two years. Early retirement at age 23.
In the real world, the Racism™ industry had been bumbling along. American Renaissance, VDare, and the H.L. Mencken club were holding sparsely attended conferences full of right wing intellectuals. The speakers were largely the same. The tone was high-brow. Some jewish guy gave a speech with the words “alternative right” in it. Nobody noticed.
Occupy started in 2011. It was a shit show, and I was there for every major event. It infected my generation with antifa and anarcho bullshit, thoroughly. But after Obama got his re-election, the Feds pulled the plug.
In the wake of the Occupy shutdowns, people were lost. Many of us had been shocked at both the dysfunction inside of Occupy and the government’s response. We were dumb kids.
Human mics and the revolution were a joke. Every camp was run by the loudest, most idealistic, most retarded voices. A lot of guys like me saw this and left early.
At Occupy, 50-year-old homeless alcoholics had equal say in things – when they weren’t sexually assaulting the girls. Anarchism wasn’t going to work. The sane ones scattered to the wind… down a series of tubes.
In 2012, Weev went to federal prison on hacking charges. He would come out of jail with swastika tattoo on his chest.
In 2013, Aaron Schwartz killed himself.
Living in the fall-out of Occupy and unburdened by employment, I got on the computer to read blogs for 12 hours a day. I worked out, cooked, and read. Sometimes I did psychedlic drugs. That was all I did for two years. It lead me to some weird places.
HBD, human biological diversity, became a topic of interest. “Why are people so fucking dumb?” was the big question on my mind, and these people had answers. Many blogs had sprung up while I was doing the anarcho-LARP. And they were saying this: IQ was a real, relevant thing. It explained a lot. Oh, boy.
HBD interacted with Neoreaction a lot, sharing the same blogrolls. One weird site that listed both was something called Xenosystems. It appeared to be written in gibberish. It was somehow threatening to look at and read. There was something horrifying about it. I did not understand, but the links were good. The term “Dark Enlightenment” was cribbed from Xenosystems essays about the emerging NRx movement, and became a second name for the group.
I slipped over the edge into NRx: a community where people were questioning democracy, and devoting massive energy into designing new systems of government that had yet to be tried. I got a rough education with a dictionary tab open at all times.
The story gets tangled here. I can’t do much better. The real history is already lost to time. Get used to this, because 5 years ago is memory-hole territory now.
What you can be sure of: there was major cross-pollination across all mentioned spheres, and dozens that have gone unmentioned.
Around this time, TheRightStuff.biz came into existence (TRS Radio came later…. ), as did MPCdot.com. These sites were full of the kind of racism you see on /pol/ today. The LessWrong community came into play as well. They were SF eggheads, LGBTQA, and degenerate. An opposition party to the Neoreactionaries if there ever was one. SlateStarCodex lives up to their “rationalist” namesake today, as one of the most scientifically honest leftists on the internet.
There was also Paleocon, still going strong. Archeofuturism was a thing. Golden Dawn came around. Things were moving on the right.
Here is a very dated chart of the Neoreaction/etc community. “The Reactosphere.” When I found it, I googled every name on the graph. It was already out of date.
In 2013/2014, the explosion continued. Richard Spencer’s name started appearing occasionally on the blogs. He was the young guy. Alternativeright.com was a thing. There was Jack Donovan, a right-wing guy pushing for masculine identity, later outed as a homosexual. AmRen conferences started trickling into my feed. Reddit had some things happening as well. /r/newright was a place to go, for a while. There were others.
In my world, the ideas started to coalesce around NRx, HBD, and civilizational decline. It all was relatively tame, compared to what we see today. Pontificating, vaguely racist (but I could argue it wasn’t) and gloomy. It was coming in from all angles, available on all of these outlets.
John Derbyshire, fired from The National Review for racism, became my anchor in the new thought-zone. I could understand him, while everyone else was using $5 words or getting too Christ-y. Greg Cochran and Steve Hsu were equally important to me. Most of Unz.com and Zerohedge seemed worthwhile.
/pol/ came into my life during the Boston Marathon bombings. The live coverage on the board was unmatched. I was hearing gunshots on the police scanner, looking at the backyard boat on Google maps, refreshing threads . I heard the “suspect is down” in real time. I was hooked.
What was /pol/ like back then? More nihilistic. The Nazi were there, but it seemed more libertarian than anything else. Nazis were the “stormfags” (referring to the retard WN contingent at Stormfront.org). The /pol/ discourse was high-brow by chan standards [not saying much]. Hopeless and dark. Mass shootings were a thing to celebrate. Occasionally deep threads on NRx, fascism, etc were hosted by rogue academics. Things chugged along.
/r9k/, another 4chan board, was growing as well. Formerly a concept by the XKCD dork, it morphed into a space for the alienated youth. No gf guys. No job guys. NEETs. They liked shootings too. The /pol/ crossover was immediate and apparent. An old meme known as Pepe the Frog came back there with a vengeance here. /pol/ would eventually claim it for their own.
The Daily Stormer came online on 2013. Andrew Anglin was the founder. A /pol/ack. It mixed Stormfag content with /pol/ memes, and became very popular. Weev got out of prison and started helping with it.
2014 and 2015 are blurry. My energy was focused on reading about day-to-day politics. Terrorist attacks, Swedish cucks, and such. But I continued to read NRx and HBD regularly. 28sherman and Amerika were new favorites. Richard Spencer, Jared Taylor, and RamZPaul were now regularly posted on /pol/. Breitbart was becoming popular too. The Stormfags were gaining ground in the comment wars.
/pol/ had some shake-ups. m00t tried to kill it by flooding it with shitposts from other boards. Another site emerged, 8chan, where a more hardcore and paranoia white nationalist contingent went. They were better at doxxing and extremely paranoid. The creator of the 8chan site, a disabled person, eventually wrote an article for Daily Stormer in favor of eugenics, for people like himself.
The Hestia Society formed. NRx urbanites. Smart guys. It was a good sign. I started talking with NobodyTM – video artist/musician – before they went from hyper obscure to regularly obscure. It was all really, really NEW.
The air on /pol/ was electric at the time. During these years it was, without a doubt, the best board on 4chan. More energetic than /b/ in its heyday. That alone brought many new visitors. Taboos getting smashed is easy comedy. We all know it. But the Left had smashed all of the ones they had available. There was no lols left to be had from that side of the fence. Here, in /pol/, there were plenty.
Users flocked in from all over 4chan. They were immediately subjected to 200+ reply threads of crimethink. They liked it.
GamerGate happened. At the time, it was just another doxxing, but it became something huge. The feminist reaction dumped fuel on the fire, and the guys from /v/ (videogames) came pouring in. Thousands of apolitical gamer nerds were converted. They no longer trusted the media. They were wondering why everyone shitting on them was Jewish. The Daily Stormer called for online activists to go to the board and proselytize for Hitler. That worked too.
A young Milo Yiannopoulos came around, riding GamerGate like it was a black dude. Sometime he would host livechats with as few as 30 /pol/ kids. Around the same time, TheRightStuff.biz launched their radio show “Fash The Nation.” Another hit. Synergy.
You could still see NRx threads on /pol/, but it was going Alt Right. I was losing interest at this point. Everything was a re-hash, and there were too many newfags. I wanted more NRx. I stayed there absorbing it all, but the magic was dying. Interaction with foreigners was still the highlight. Banter. Happening threads were still good, but my blog feed was more interesting. The memes were taking hold of /pol/, and incoherent antagonism became the default culture.
For most of these years, it was never clear who on /pol/ was an actual Nazi, and who was pretending to be one. We still don’t know. The surveys are bullshit. But, as the new visitors rolled in, the tone became less ironic.
Donald Trump entered the race, and /pol/ latched on immediately. I did too: 5 minutes into the first debate, where he trashed my candidate, Rand Paul.
Now we enter recent memory. During the lead-up to all to this, the Alt Right didn’t have an exact definition. It was a nebulous term applied to Milo, Spencer, Breitbart, Jared Taylor, and more… right-libertarians, paleocons, and /pol/acks. Many young Republicans on /pol/ were claiming the title too. It was a tent for the circus.
But then something flipped. Hillary Clinton made a speech about it. The newly radicalized Pepe the Frog was the star. A /pol/ack in the audience screamed “PEPE!” audibly on the stream, before being escorted out by security. That sealed things up. Spencer, TRS, The Daily Stormer, and others seized the word backs from the moderates.
Spencer had been pushing “Alt Right” for years, but his definition had never been the default. After the speech, the white nationalist crew screamed on /pol/ for weeks “THIS IS WHAT ALT RIGHT MEANS.” They won control of it. After the change, many jumped ship… Breitbart and RamZPaul standing out most of all.
What happened during 2016 was all-out-meme-war for the presidency. There was alliance between all teams in the Trump camp. “Don’t punch right” was an idea pushed by the TRS/TDS crew (and Vox Day). They convinced everyone to AGREE and AMPLIFY any accusations of racism or nazism throw at Trump supporters. Everyone did exactly that. It was funny…
The Clinton camp was actively paying an army of internet trolls to campaign online. When /pol/ found out, it meant Total War, across the internet. /pol/ went somewhere beyond during that time. Burning fire. Users fanned out and attacked. To post Pepe memes.
Reddit’s /r/the_donald subreddit exploded. In many ways, it was a /pol/ outreach program. They stuck within the confines of the Reddit TOS, and spread acceptable memes there. It grew to be one of the biggest subreddits on the site. Hillary’s campaign seized control of the /r/news and /r/worldnews subreddits. It was transparent. Reddit admins approved.
/r/The_Donald became the only place on Reddit for developing news on terror attacks, which there were a lot of. Reddit was known for accurate, early news coverage. The censorship on the old news subs was a big deal. That brought a ton of users to T_D, who became Trump voters. Many of the subreddit users leaked over to /pol/. There, they were pushed further right.
The memes infected Twitter, and I signed up to watch the election go down. Bans were given and routed-around. #frogtwitter was there waiting for me. It was everything good about /pol/ but policed by a bunch of 120-130 IQ poets. It was beautiful.
Election night had me drinking half a bottle of vodka and rolling on the floor babbling to myself while Cenk Uygur went over the results. I expected defeat. I couldn’t believe it. My old Occupy bro, Cenk, covered in sweat, ashen face. God damn. I was unhinged. I woke up and could not remember who won. The memories of the night leaked back in around noon.
After the Don. 2017. The Alt Right grew even bigger, and even dumber. I went to the inauguration to stroll through the antifa riots can catch a glimpse of the POTUS. Young guys with fashy haircuts walked around their chests puffed out. Easy to spot, if you knew what to look for. I dressed like antifa. It’s a good look.
Here is were the radicalization at Occupy comes back with a vengeance. They smashed some shit up. Burned a limo. I slipped out to the sound of corporate windows smashing in rapid succession. Rocks, bats, fires, and small explosions going off. Somewhere, blocks away, Spencer was getting punched in the face.
Violence against the right wing was now on the menu. The media loved it. The months rolled by. More violence. Fighting at political rallies was now a bloodsport.
Unemployed meatheads, still reeling from the 2008 crash, and radicalized by second-hand /pol/ memes, were ready to rumble. On the other team, the anarchist horde from the Occupy era was thirsting for blood. A Nazi president. This means war.
“Free Speech” rallies and violence. I wonder what Aaron Schwartz would say about them today. Free Speech advocacy played a role here, from the beginning.
Mid-year, a terrible idea was born: they decided to do The Daily Stormer (/pol/+stormfront) thing IRL. A man in in Virginia, mentally-ill ex-leftist, convinced the clean-cut Alt Right memers to go to a rally with the meth-Nazi crowd. Synergetic!
You all know what happened.
But let’s tie things back together: Weev, the SA goon, works on The Daily Stormer, run by /pol/ack Anglin. The Daily Stormer pushes the rally hard. Richard Spencer, riding on /pol/, Gamergate, Trump, and the punch, is there too. He is the produce of the old guard: AmRen, VDare, etc.
And get this: the major figure of #UniteTheRight – organizer Jason Kessler – was an ex-Occupy guy. EX OCCUPY!
What the fuck is going on.
Finally, the antifa: They have been trolled by /pol/ on the net for years now. During Occupy, this was not a thing. Today, constant harassment. Constant trolling. They know about the Alt Right, and they are fucking pissed. The Nazis are back! And there’s more of them than ever.
The media hyped the event and guaranteed Antifa/Reich violence.
The government set a trap for the Alt Right, and set it off. Did they expect death, or just some beatings? My money was on a Spencer assassination. But instead, a broken freak from the Alt Right team (do you guys vet anyone?) decided to drive his car into the victory march.
I will put money on this: this was the peak of the Alt Right. One dumb move. It all lead up to this.
All of these internet cultures came together to create this event. And the 2008 crash was the spark for all of them. A nation of young men without jobs, without much hope. Some go left, some go right. The media is there, braying about their failures and their privilege. Some buy in and get a strap-on, some go full Hitler. /r9k/ shoots some people, or kills itself. “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out.” Ron Paul was right. You should have listened.
It’s all a mess. But the right is still winning. They got Trump. The future is either impeachment or a Hillary conviction. “whew lad”
Back to the main event:
Like Occupy, the government was pulling the strings. Immediately after the car hit, the lack of police protection was apparent. When the cops arrive at the scene, the antifa’s first question is immortalized in the stream: “WHERE THE FUCK WERE YOU?”
A car has plowed into an unprotected, unsanctioned street march. A battalion of state police are twiddling their thumbs a few blocks away. At Occupy, you couldn’t step off of the sidewalk without being thrown into a van. Here, free reign.
Fatboy and his leaders were pushed into the antifa maw. They got maced, beaten. They fought back. No intervention. Fatboy snapped. Fatboy didn’t have a lot going for him, “what with the economy the way it is.” The beast that fermented in /pol/ recruited one-too-many idiots, and Fatboy was the tipping point.
Like Occupy before it, the radicals got played. This time, the gov’s work was more impressive. Both sides are looking ridiculous. This week, 30,000 march against 100 free speech activists in a park. The statues are coming down, maybe. Lenin too.
Perhaps this Fed play wasn’t expected to go so well. But it did. Alt Right = BTFO.
So the Alt Right fractures like Occupy. The seeds are being sown, tossed to the wind again. Oh, boy.