That's something that's increasingly clear to me. There has been a huge wave of strange creativity coming out of the right-wing in recent years. Or coming from the right-wing and becoming more visible.
PepeTheFrog, memes about Incels and "Chads". QAnon. Podcasts. Video channels. Magazines. ApoliteicNFTs, Miladys
(Going back to WarBloggers, obviously)
I was thinking this when looking at https://www.countere.com/
There's a lot of gonzo energy, pent-up frustration, revolutionary zeal. It's "fecund". A lot of ideas. A lot of interest in exploring things that have been neglected or wilfully excluded.
The point is, now, a lot of young people are growing up and this just IS culture for them. Older liberals and left-wingers like myself might find a lot of this right-wing thinking wrong-headed, disturbing or even "evil".
But for many people, it's just what they grew up with. The podcasters and YouTubers and right-wing ConspiracyThinking is just part of the smorgasbord of ideas in their world.
There will be people who held frighteningly extreme right-wing views in their youth, who mellow and become acceptable / accepted. (After all, many of us don't bat an eyelid at a fiery left-wing radical who becomes a national treasure. Indeed, it's considered good for the CV)
But maybe we're going to have to get used to similar fiery right-wingers becoming mainstream in our culture.
We're going to have to get used to right-wing memes becoming mainstream in our culture. And be expected to know about and appreciate right-wing literature, right-wing music, right-wing art etc. just as we have expected people to be equivalently relaxed about left-wing messages and discourse in the arts.
Of course, for as long as RightWing extremism is a taboo there'll always be "edgy" artists intrigued by it. You probably can't have one (the taboo) without the other (the glamour of wickedness).
I'm not at all attracted by right-wing politics or values. But even I am very fond of the post-industrial EnglandsHiddenReverse scene and bands like Current93 (see also TheAlbum) which have often overlapped with right-wing underground music.
Frankly NeoFolk is a powerful cultural scene. There's good and surprising music there.
The left like to imagine or pretend that they more or less own art and culture. And that's fairly true for the mainstream. But of course that means that really odd / interesting / iconoclastic figures can be found in the shadows flirting with the right-wing, or satanism or misogyny or other bad things.
Apoliteic art can be compelling. Strange, subtle, devious, intriguing. And, yeah, "good".
Don't get me wrong. I'm still a LeftWinger who is saddened by this. But the realist in me recognises that it's unlikely we can stop it. Trying to do so is just going to be incredibly frustrating and dispiriting.
We'd be better off accepting it and moving on to trying to create a more vibrant and enticing left-wing culture to win over the next generation.
See also :
- parallels in IntellectualDarkWeb