1. 4

As promised, I have completed my review of Kill All Normies.

  1.  

  2. 2

    This is an excellent review! I just purchased and read this book as well and I concur with all your points. Identitarian politics, transgressive politics, the various online communities, Gamergate, Milo, etc; Nagle did her damn homework on everything.

    On your opinion at the end, where you say “Where this book falls short, in my opinion, is in drawing connections between the online struggle of the alt-right and actual electoral outcomes” and “Nagle is remarkably short of evidence of alt-right online ideology translating into offline action.”

    I don’t think this is necessarily at the fault of Nagle. In my opinion, the data needed isn’t available because simply not enough time has passed for these things to be seen in the physical world. Its only been several months since the election. I think it will be a few more years before we are able to draw any meaningful conclusions.

    1. 3

      We don’t have data per se, but we do have a healthy dose of anecdote:

      “ I arrived semi-early at 3:30 or so, the line moved like molasses even after the doors opened at 4:00. People drove by us with signs bearing anti-Trump slogans like “Get Hate Out Of My State”. A lady drove by and stopped to ask us what everybody was in line for, I shouted that the line was for a Trump rally. She nodded and drove off. A young man behind me shouted after her that she was a cuck.

      . . .

      Turning the corner the full extent of the protest crowd became clear. It was massive, holding white and black or yellow and black signs with a wide variety of slogans. These I have on video so I can quote them directly: “Everett Stands United Against Trump”, “No Anti-Semites In The White House”, “Bigots Should Be Stripped Of Power”, “No Hate In The White House”, “Filipino Lives Matter, who will make the lumpia?”, “Say NOPE to the DOPE” where the “O” has been replaced with Donald Trump’s face. As we stepped toward this crowd (which threw at least one death threat at me) a dedicated volunteer stood stood there to remind us ‘not to feed the trolls’. “

      1. 1

        Those are both good anecdotes and I’ve updated my review with a link to your post, indicating that rallies and other campaign events provide a plausible mechanism for transmission of alt-right ideas and ideology into the mainstream political discourse.

      2. 1

        the data needed isn’t available because simply not enough time has passed for these things to be seen in the physical world

        This is perhaps true, but Nagle doesn’t really do a good job of laying out any hypotheses as to how online activity can translate into offline activism and ideology. Even when she talks about the left, she doesn’t really talk about how online activity directly translated into offline protest. She takes it as a given that the direction of influence runs one way: from online memes to offline ideology. I think it’s more nuanced than that, and that there is influence going in both directions.

        As the book stands, Nagle has laid out the sources of many of the online alt-right memes and how they interact and left it up to us to work out how those memes turn into offline action. I’m certainly not ungrateful for that. I think what she’s done has importance. But it’s not the whole story.

      Recent Comments