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parsed(2017-06-30) - pubdate: 2017-06-30
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pub date: 1498798800
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Kill All Normies

Online Culture Wars From 4Chan And Tumblr To Trump And The Alt-Right

June 30, 2017 | Trade paperback
ISBN: 9781785355431
$21.95
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Description

Recent years have seen a revival of the heated culture wars of the 1990s, but this time its battle ground is the internet. On one side the alt right ranges from the once obscure neo-reactionary and white separatist movements, to geeky subcultures like 4chan, to more mainstream manifestations such as the Trump-supporting gay libertarian Milo Yiannopolous. On the other side, a culture of struggle sessions and virtue signalling lurks behind a therapeutic language of trigger warnings and safe spaces. The feminist side of the online culture wars has its equally geeky subcultures right through to its mainstream expression. Kill All Normies explores some of the cultural genealogies and past parallels of these styles and subcultures, drawing from transgressive styles of 60s libertinism and conservative movements, to make the case for a rejection of the perpetual cultural turn.

About this Author

Angela Nagle's work has appeared in the Baffler, Jacobin, Current Affairs, the Irish Times and many other journals. She's also the co-editor of Ireland Under Austerity from Manchester University Press.

ISBN: 9781785355431
Format: Trade paperback
Pages: 136
Publisher: Zero Books
Published: 2017-06-30

Reviews

Angela Nagle is one of the few writers anywhere who has consistently refused to hold a double standard for virulent racism and misogyny even when it came in edgy countercultural packaging. Kill All Normies is a brilliant exposé of the new faces of online nihilism and fascism, which can no longer be explained away as doing it "for the lulz".

Amidst the chaos of our times, it is a relief to have a brilliant and fearless critic like Angela Nagle to turn to. Unwilling to stomach the liberal shibboleths that fail to adequately explain the emergence and significance of right-wing subculture, she's the only one willing to descend into the grimiest of Internet grottos and give us the benefit of her incisive and cool-headed analysis.

With a liberal left dangerously lost in the stormy waters of middle class self-flagellation, Angela Nagle is the lighthouse keeper showing us the way out. Her writing is unsparing in its diagnosis but never cruel. Unlike much of the Left who've grown far too accustomed to marginalization and defeat, Nagle still believes in politics as the only way of changing an increasingly brutal world. She is the writer and social critic I've been waiting for.

This short head-butt of a book taught me more about recent political events in a single rich evening of reading than I've learned in this entire last and very unpleasant year of obsessively monitoring cable TV, and confirmed for me something I've been feeling for a while now, namely that social media is a toxin we are gleefully and cluelessly injecting into ourselves, even as we ask, "Why are we getting so mean and stupid?"

Kill All Normies is an important book, albeit one whose conclusions are likely to prove unflattering and potentially unpopular. In it, the alt-right emerges as something not quite as alien as many would like to think. Rather, it is a bastardized version of the cultural currents that most of the book's likely readers -- myself included -- participate in and valorize. And although there may be no easy way out of the mess we have gotten ourselves into -- stabbings in Portland, riots in Berkeley, and Trump in the White House -- the book's indictment of our elitist culture wars does point toward an inevitable, if slightly horrifying conclusion: Perhaps the normies aren't so bad after all.

Nagle approaches the alt-right with understanding and patience. Her political taxonomies are careful, her sociological explanations are persuasive, and her psychological evaluations are considerate. She has a genuine sympathy for her subjects and a genuine solidarity with their victims. Most important, she shows that psychological and economic analysis are complimentary rather than at odds. Read Kill All Normies, then everything else Nagle has written. It'll be time better spent than listening to your favorite podcaster complain about "political correctness" for the nth time.

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