Soft Bois Eventually Give Way to Hard Men
The nationalist dandies are funny, in a pathetic sort of way. The brutes who come after them aren’t.
1. Soft Bois
Yesterday on THE NOW PUBLIC TNL (more on this below) we talked about some of the big proponents of populist-nationalist-revolution-what-have-you.
And the thing that struck me is how many of the guys who are super butch on the subject of fighting the wokes and charging the cockpit are . . . look, let’s just say I don’t get the sense that they chop their own wood.
Let’s take a quick tour.
As Charlie notes this morning, Michael Anton is out there
calling for just asking questions about having a violent revolution in America.
Anton is a former private-equity guy turned speechwriter whose dream is to be a chef. Per the New York Times, Anton is “a classically trained chef who favors French cuisine.” He is also something of a dandy.
Then there’s Roger Stone, out there calling for violence—when the voting stops the shooting starts, I guess? He once posted (and then deleted) a picture of the judge hearing his case with a crosshairs next to her head. So tough. But Stone makes Anton look like a biker. He’s a dandy’s dandy. A heavily made-up old man with a penchant for complicated glasses.
Curtis Yarvin is the internet troll who wants to get rid of democracy and replace it with monarchy and who thinks that mass killings by right-wingers are wrong mostly because they’re bad for the brand. Yarvin is more or less what you’d order from central casting if you were looking for “middle-age, basement-dwelling coder on the spectrum.”
The trad-con bros who can’t stop slapping each other on the ass while they do hot talk about overturning the democratic order? Have a look at these guys.
The dude who wants Orbanism in America? Hello!
This isn’t a manly-man dick-measuring contest and I’m not a lumberjack myself. The point I’m trying to make is that none of the outcasts and weirdos who are talking about overthrowing the liberal order in the name of the Great Common Man would be at home in a Budweiser commercial.
Or at a real bar, where real people who work with their hands go to drink Budweiser.
Hell, I’d be shocked if any of these guys has ever even had a Bud.
Instead, these are people who saw the populist movement rising and decided that they could get in on the action and ascend to a place where, one day, they’d be the ones in charge. And then, instead of being outsiders, they could tell both the woke lib hippies and the lax-bro banker-establishment cons to get bent.
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Maybe this is the way it always is with revolutionary types? I don’t know that Trotsky and Lenin were all that butch, either. In hindsight, they look like third-rate intellectuals thirsting for power. But Koba was not. He was a brutalist. And he was more than happy to take over for them.
The problem is that the soft bois eventually give way to hard men, who understand and are eager to use power. What starts out as fops and dandies posing and talking tough about how super-duper double-bad they want to overthrow liberalism can eventually lead to actual men with actual weapons deciding to try it for themselves.
2. The Next Level Is a YouTube Show Now
We’ve moved the podcast I do with Sarah Longwell and Tim Miller out from behind the paywall. We’ve turned it into a YouTube show. So maybe it’s not a “podcast” anymore? Maybe it’s just a show? I dunno. #content
Anyway: Here it is. And if you’ll permit some immodesty, it’s a banger of a first episode.
Do me a favor? Click on the link there and go subscribe to the show on YouTube. And give it a thumbs up even if you’ll never watch it there. (Bulwark+ members can still watch here ad-free and commune with the family in the comments.)
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We really brought it this week. So do me a solid and go support the show on:
3. Lossless Data Transfer Technology
This Twitter thread charmed and impressed me to a ludicrous degree. I’m going to give you just the highlights, but it’s worth reading in its entirety.
Read the whole thread here.
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America is a hard country, a rather uniquely violent country in the developed world. I expect the violence in a MAGA dictatorship would be a lot worse than people expect, both by the state (Trump was eager to invoke the Insurrection Act and deploy the military against protestors) and by militant thugs the state won't punish, or will pardon. The MAGA media is very good at stoking hate of the opposing side. It reminds me a bit of the Spanish Civil War, where the brutality, the sheer hatred toward other Spaniards because of their political views was so extreme. Hugh Thomas's book on that war does a good job of depicting the hate in the lengthy description of the lead-up to the war. And I see the same hate in MAGA TPs. It will be very violent indeed. And I'm not sure the dandies are any less likely to be violent; it's to make up for their insecurity that they may in fact support the worst violence. No, they won't get their own hands dirty, but they'll have it done.
I gotta say JVL, that is one impressive library. Who would have thought the most efficient library in the world has a dirt floor.