The Demise of Fake News Part II

The Press is already losing, but they won’t go down without a fight.

The Demise of Fake News Part II

by Gaius Marcius


The Media Counter-Attack

The vast resources of the Press and now the State are being deployed more effectively against the Alt Right with every passing day. Anarcho-tyranny is a new term for a very old phenomenon. Harvey Silvergate wrote the book Three Felonies a Day about the byzantine legal code that every American has already violated in the course of their normal lives. The Justice Department already has a case against every citizen, should they choose to prosecute. Countless citizens have noticed the double standard applied to the ruling class and the opposition, but the social cost of combatting the elites is too high. Even noticing the lies is often dangerous, as John Rivello, Chris Cantwell, Mark Basseley Youssef, the anti-Islam filmmaker blamed for the Benghazi attack, and Belloc can attest:

“Whether after exposing a political scandal you shall or shall not be subject to the risk of ruin or loss of liberty…depends negatively upon the Legal Guild. That is, so long as the lawyers support the politicians you have no redress…You may, of course, commit any crime with impunity if the professional politicians among the lawyers refuse to prosecute…you may conversely be put at the risk of any penalty if they desire to put you at risk: for the modern secret police being ubiquitous and privileged, their opponent can be decoyed into peril at the will of those who govern.” p. 70

Hillary Clinton is perfectly safe from prosecution for the exact reason that Edward Snowden can never return to his home: the will of the prosecutors. Other examples of this exercise of arbitrary power abound. Mark Steyn’s successive show-trials in Canada and Washington D.C., first on human rights charges for stating the truth about Islam in Maclean’s magazine, next for questioning the authority of a global warming scientist, fit the description. As Steyn himself has said, his legal victory in Canada is entirely hollow because every publisher saw the court costs mount. Despite the rightness of their cause, no one can afford to defend the truth in court so they will self-censor rather than risk being falsely accused of a crime:

“There is not an editor responsible for the management of any free Paper who will not tell you that a thousand times he has had to consider whether it were possible to tell a particular truth, however important that truth might be to the commonwealth. And the fear which restrains him is the fear of destruction which the combination of the professional politician and lawyer holds in his hand.” p. 72

The lawyerly imposition of financial burdens may not be as viscerally satisfying as the guillotine, but it is just as effective. Now that every aspect of American life has been politicized The Cathedral need only bring pressure to bear on a small class of decision makers rather than the public at large. See for example John Robert’s opinion on the Obamacare mandate:

“Whether it shall lead to his actual ruin or no is again in the hands of members of the legal guild; the judge may withstand the politicians (by whom he was made, to whom he often belongs, and upon whom his general position today depends). He may stand out, or- as nearly always now- he will identify himself with the political system and act as its mouthpiece.” p. 71

Nothing the Left can do to the Alt Right is as effective as having Republican cuckservatives attack the Alt Right on their behalf. The disapproval of Glenn Beck is insurance against disgruntled Republican voters ever exploring the Alt Right. Conservatism Inc. is enough of a part of The Cathedral that Leftist threats and intimidation are very effective against magazines like National Review. At one time the purges from National Review were probably initiated for the greater good- to avoid the destruction at the hands of politicians and lawyers that Belloc mentions. William F Buckley probably genuinely feared that the important anti-communist message of National Review would be obliterated if convenient targets of the Left like the Birchers remained at the magazine. When Ann Coulter and John Derbyshire were dismissed, National Review declined into the intricate verbal jiu jitsu of Jonah-We didn’t stop publishing those authors, they just made themselves the kind of people whose views do not get printed in our magazine-Goldberg. With the case of Mark Steyn National Review descended into parodic insanity. Steyn was purged because his homosexual editor objected to the quotation of a 1950’s Bob Hope joke about gays in Steyn’s article about free speech and political correctness. With friends like these, conservatives have as much to fear from their own side as from the Left, which is why more disillusioned conservatives are entering the ranks of the Alt Right every day.

Advantages of the Alt Right

The Alt Right is growing in both size, because the incoherent worldview of the Left has gone from being merely laughable to being literally deadly, and quality, because only above average conservatives have the wit and courage to notice why this is happening and then take action. Barbarian realities are crashing through the veneer of multicultural harmony faster than the Press can explain them away. Anyone who questions the lies of The Cathedral, no matter how much they want to remain Alt Lite, will eventually acquiesce to self-deception or join the Alt Right. Belloc is optimistic about the chances of a movement so constituted:

“The first thing to note is that the Free Press is not read perfunctorily, but with close attention. The audience it has, if small, is an audience which never misses its pronouncements whether it agrees or disagrees with them, and which is absorbed in its opinions, its statements of fact and its arguments. Look narrowly at History and you will find that all great reforms have started thus; not through a widespread control acting downwards, but through spontaneous energy, local and intensive, acting upwards. You cannot say this of the Official Press, for the simple reason that the Official Press is only of real political interest on rare and brief occasions…One of the proofs of this – a curious, a comic, but a most conclusive proof- is the dependence of the great daily papers on the headline. Ninety-nine people out of a hundred retain this and nothing more, because the matter below is but a flaccid expression of the headline.” p. 74

Belloc’s observation of the centrality of the headline is more true in the age of Google News than it was in the days of newspapers. At one time perhaps the editors were ashamed that they could not induce readers to go past the headline, but now the headline is a weapon. Instead of writing articles that are dry restatements of the headline, the Press now conjures up headlines that obscure or even state the exact opposite of what is in the article. The first week of 2017 produced several gems, including, Four arrested after torturing a man live on facebook and, Hate crimes against whites remain rare, despite shocking Facebook torture video.

Please don’t look at this picture. You might jump to correct conclusions.

In this the Press has complacently passed the normal bounds of cynicism, which enables the Alt Right to easily gain credibility by pointing out obvious Leftist lies on a daily basis. The simple act of exposing deception is effectively a two-pronged attack. The unfortunate dupes of the Press become aware of their status, and journalists confident in their own abilities are shaken when confronted with opponents who do not simply roll over and play dead. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, overtly snubbing the only serious opposition is the sincerest show of fear. Jared Taylor, Peter Brimelow, and Steve Sailer have produced superior content for decades without a hint of their existence appearing in the public consciousness. I have replaced the names of 20th century free journals with our modern equivalents in the following quotation, but the circumstances are the same right down to the fear of becoming controlled opposition:

“Next let it be noted that the Free Press powerfully affects, even when they disagree with it, and most of all when they hate it, the small class through whom in the modern world ideas are spread. There never was a time in European history when the mass of people thought so little for themselves, and depended so much (for the ultimate form of their society) upon the conclusions and vocabulary of a restricted leisured body…So strict has been the boycott…that the editors of, and writers upon, the Free Press probably underestimate their own effect even now…It is almost a point of honour with the Official Press to turn a phrase upside down, or, if they must quote, to quote in the most roundabout fashion, rather than print in plain black and white [American Renaissance or Vdare]… One hears of orders given by a politician which prove his fear of the Free Press: of approaches made by this or that Capitalist to obtain control of a free journal: sometimes of a policy initiated, an official document drawn up, a memorandum filed, which proceeded directly from the advise, suggestion, or argument of a Free Paper which no one but its own readers is allowed to hear of, and of whose very existence the suburbs would be skeptical.” p. 75-77

The Press fears even the most moderate members of the Alt Lite because of the power of truth. A civic nationalist like Trump only reveals the most trite, mild truths to the masses, but once the instinct to question is encouraged the entire Cathedral is at risk. The balance of grievances and thoughtcrimes that support egalitarian multiculturalism is so precarious that a quizzical look would be enough to topple the whole thing.

The attention to detail required by political correctness is become exhaustingly excessive. A Muslim killing innocents is less of an outrage than the Confederate flag flying in South Carolina. Police questioning a BLM protestor is worse than a Black activist killing five cops. A Black woman making homophobic remarks is worse than a gay man making sexist remarks but not as bad as gays making racist jokes.  A liberal, female professor failing to denounce so-called transphobic pronouns and a Jewish professor defying Black Lives Matter are both complicit in White supremacist patriarchy.  No wonder the dimwits at Buzzfeed cannot keep up with it all. For all the effort put into building and maintaining political correctness one would think it would be more durable. But a single joke at a Trump rally can sweep it all away. If you do not have the time or inclination to wade through 18 months of Scott Adams’s blog posts about Trump being a Master Persuader, Belloc gets all of the main points into one long paragraph:

“Next consider this powerful factor in the business. The truth confirms itself. If they had not read anything suggesting the truth, it is quite upon the cards that the false suggestion would still have weight with them, in spite of the evidence of their senses. Men are so built that uncontradicted falsehood sufficiently repeated does have that curious power of illusion. A man having heard the speech delivered by the old gentleman, if there were nothing but the Official Press to inform opinion, might go away saying to himself: “I was not very much impressed, but no doubt that was due to my own weariness. I cannot but believe that the general reputation he bears is well founded. He must be a great orator, for I have always heard him called one… The man who tells the truth when his colleagues around him are lying, always enjoys a certain restricted power of prophecy… This power of prophecy, which is an adjunct of truth telling, I have noticed to affect people very profoundly.” p. 78-80

Mere truth telling is effective for Alt Lite politicians and civic nationalists; the true province of the Alt Right is the white magic of memes. Belloc serves the one true God, higher than Kek, who dispenses all good gifts to men, including the external confirmation of our sincerest prayers. The God who, as H.L. Mencken said, is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh is not averse to sending a plague of frogs at an opportune moment1.  Belloc calls it a superstition, but anyone familiar with Alt Right Twitter accounts knows that meme magic is a fine art:

“There is not a single thing which the Free Papers have earnestly said during the last few years which has not been borne out by events- and sometimes borne out with astonishing rapidity and identity of detail. It would, perhaps, be superstitious to believe that strong and courageous truth-telling calls down from Heaven, new, unexpected, and vivid examples to support it. But, really, the events of the last few years would almost incline one to that superstition. The Free Press has hardly to point out some political truth which the Official Press has refused to publish, when the stars in their courses seem to fight for that truth. It is thrust into the public gaze by some abnormal accident immediately after!” p. 81

Belloc ascribes a limited mandate of heaven to truth-tellers in any era, and he has a higher opinion of the Free Press than of the Official Press. We should not take too sanguine a view of our present circumstances on that account; Belloc was a member of Parliament, not an ostracized crank, yet the Free Press of the 1920’s could not prevent Britain’s slide into socialism and post-colonial White guilt. It is possible that the rise of the Alt Right is the last flicker of opposition before a long period of stagnation. The multicultural world order may be doomed to end in a conflagration just as European civilization died in the World Wars. We stand a better chance of avoiding that fate if we can improve the Alt Right by addressing Belloc’s criticisms.

Problems for the Alt Right

Belloc’s critique of the Free Press divides into two categories, circumstantial problems and intrinsic problems. The nature of The Cathedral has not allowed the Alt Right to develop as we may have hoped. We lack support from academic and social institutions, relying instead on passionate individuals. The only way to improve the Alt Right in this respect is to grow and win. Circumstantial problems, on the other hand, can be addressed by the movement in its present form. Belloc could not foresee the potential for effective anonymous activism that arrived with the internet. Raising funds and becoming a mass movement were much more difficult a century ago. Online platforms may well be a Kekist intervention in reality; they seem so specially designed to overcome the difficulties the Free Press faced in the past. The Alt Right has more efficient ways to harness available talent than the Free Press in any previous era, but divergent levels of seriousness and professionalism can still be a problem:

“The Free Press in its beginnings did not attack as an enemy. It only timidly claimed to be heard. It regarded itself as a “specialty.”…And there went with it a mass of excentric stuff… This Propagandist origin of the Free Press stamped it from its outset with a character it still bears, and will continue to bear, until it has had the effect in correcting, and, perhaps, destroying, the Official Press…The Free Press gives you the truth; but only in disjointed sections, for it is disparate and it is particularist: it is marked with isolation.” p. 57-59

“[Y]ou get the fact that the Free Press has come to depend upon individuals, and thus fails to be as yet an institution. It is difficult to see how any of the papers I have named would long survive the loss of their present editorship…The Free Press, therefore, so long as it springs from many and varied minorities, not only suffers everywhere from an audience restricted…but from preaching to the converted. It does get hold of a certain outside public which increases slowly, but it captures no great area of public attention at any one time.” p. 66

If journalists were smart they would leave the Alt Right in their corner of the internet preaching to the converted while the country passes the demographic point of no return. That crusading SJW mentality is too strong to resist, so very simple trolling efforts yield national news coverage, interviews and notoriety. Several blogs also aggregate the best Alt Right content each week, so we are already overcoming our isolation and lack of public attention. A few journalists are seeking to create an Alt Right Emmanuel Goldstein for the public to hate. Richard Spencer was a leading candidate after the 2016 NPI conference, but the panic induced on the Left every time a normie googles Radix Journal is probably too much for most journalists to stomach. The Press must avoid at all costs the danger of the Alt Right growing, even if that means not reporting clickbait White supremacy stories. The ingrained habits of the news-reading public work to the advantage of the Official Press. No one wants to hear that they have invested hours of their day in nonsense and lies, so the first response of many normies is to roll their eyes at the egotism of the Alt Right:

“With the mass even of well-educated and observant men the feeling created by the novel power of the great papers was little more than a vague ill ease…Men had for some time made it a normal thing to read their daily paper; to believe what it told them to be facts, and even in a great measure to accept its opinions. A new voice criticizing by implication, or directly blaming or ridiculing a habit so formed, was necessarily an unpopular voice with the mass of readers.” p. 61-63

Despite what any republican would like to believe, humanity craves authority, and the imprimatur of the fancy letterhead atop the New York Times front page is not nothing. A reference to a completely factual blog post does not carry the same weight as a reference to a cable news channel or university. I once asked a philosophy professor for his opinion of a particular academic book. Without knowing anything about the author or content, he glanced at the title page and said, “Well, it is from Princeton University Press, so it must be good.” I sold the book the next week. Trust of respected sources solely because of their level of social acceptability is inversely correlated to an individual’s level of red-pilling. One of Glenn Beck’s recurring nightmares is that the Alt Right will look so professional and reasonable that otherwise solid conservatives may be tricked into supporting White European interests. The Press keeps the Alt Right socially unacceptable by choking off any supply of funds that would aid in professionalization:

“Stupidity, for instance, would account for the great advertisers not advertising articles of luxury in a paper with only a three thousand a week circulation, even if that paper were read from cover to cover by all the rich people in England; but it would not account for absence in the Free Press alone of advertisements appearing in every other kind of paper, and in many organs of far smaller circulation than the Free Press papers have. The boycott is deliberate, and is persistently maintained… It is not only a boycott of advertisement: it is a boycott of quotation. Most of the governing class know the Free Press. The vast lower middle class does not yet know that it exists.” p. 67

Finally, Belloc noticed the beginnings of the society Huxley depicted in Brave New World, a society in which the lower middle class does not even want to know about the Free Press so long as The Cathedral provides basic material comforts.

Will it cause a revolt or institutionalize apathy?

In this passage Belloc truly shows himself to be a century ahead of his time. As bad as the situation was in the England of 1918, the final destructive stage of Leftism had not yet been reached. In the early 20th century all politicians said, and many believed, that the measures they proposed would benefit their citizenry. Only in the past few decades has demographic displacement of the White race been globalized, institutionalized, and openly avowed by politicians and academics. It was too much to hope that the average worker in 1918 would react to the irresponsibility of elites by demanding a total reform of the government, but there is hope that the dire circumstances of 2017 will create a reaction more fundamental and far-reaching than the election of Donald Trump:

“What I do doubt in the approaching and already apparent success of the Free Press is its power to effect democratic reform. It will succeed at last in getting the truth told pretty openly and pretty thoroughly…But what I do not see is the avenue whereby the great mass of the people can now be restored to an interest in the way in which they are governed, or even in the re-establishment of their own economic independence. So far as I can gather from the life around me, the popular appetite for freedom and even for criticism has disappeared. The wage-earner demands sufficient and regular subsistence, including a system of pensions, and, as part of his definition of subsistence and sufficiency, a due portion of leisure. That he demands a property in the means of production, I can see no sign whatever…All we can hope to do is, for the moment, negative: in my view at least. We can undermine the power of the Capitalist Press. We can expose it as we have exposed the Politicians. It is very powerful but very vulnerable- as are all human things that repose on a lie.” p. 84

Conclusion

Belloc’s analysis of the Press can hardly be improved upon. The examples are a bit out of date, but the philosophy is sound. European civilization created the Press as an efficient means of disseminating information, but Capitalism and Finance began to use the Press for their own purposes. Most citizens now have access only to such ideas and topics as their masters desire them to see. Those unhappy few who noticed the dichotomy between reality and the news have become almost unwillingly the founders of the new Alt Right movement. The Alt Right has passion, truth, and wit to match against time and money, which favor the Official Press. Our victory as critics of the Official Press is all but assured, but the much more difficult task of reforming society depends on awakening a majority of the people to their peril. That victory is far less certain.

I leave the final space in this essay for Belloc’s last words in The Free Press. This is the animating spirit of the Alt Right. We are the inheritors of a great tradition, and we cannot let our lives slip by without speaking in defense of the civilization of our ancestors, whatever the consequences:

“No man who has the truth to tell and the power to tell it can long remain hiding it from fear or even from despair without ignominy. To release the truth against whatever odds, even if so doing can no longer help the Commonwealth, is a necessity for the soul. We have also this last consolation, that those who leave us and attach themselves from fear or greed to the stronger party of dissemblers gradually lose thereby their chance of fame in letters. Sound writing cannot survive in the air of mechanical hypocrisy. They with their enormous modern audiences are the hacks doomed to oblivion. We, under the modern silence, are the inheritors of those who built up the political greatness of England upon a foundation of free speech, and of the prose which it begets. Those who prefer to sell themselves or to be cowed gain, as a rule, not even that ephemeral security for which they betrayed their fellows; meanwhile, they leave to us the only solid and permanent form of political power, which is the gift of mastery through persuasion.”

Demosthenes prepares to speak against the great and powerful.


1.The full quotation reads, “Creator: A comedian whose audience is afraid to laugh. Three proofs of his humor: democracy, hay fever, any fat woman.” A Book of Burlesques, Chapter 11.

Read Part I here.

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