Futrelle and other feminist sympathizers always consider themselves iconoclasts and revolutionaries – strange when one considers their boundless admiration for the mainstream media, which enjoys an intimate relationship with the Anglo-American cultural establishment. This gushing approbation makes more sense if one considers television and newspapers to be pro-feminist, misandrist institutions – and that feminism defines the Establishment rather than opposing it.
Antonio Gramsci argued that the media bound the consent of the masses to the existing social order by injecting them with a worldview contrary to their real lives – in short, they adopted the worldview of the elite (or their media minions), becoming detached from (and indifferent towards) their own reality. In this deluded condition, they were easy prey for elite manipulation. What the Internet has done – in its various forms – is challenge this indoctrination process. And that is frightening the elite, for obvious reasons. Richard Scarecrow’s blog is an excellent example of this ‘reality revolution’ in action. While the legacy media continually aver that Anglo-American women are kindly angels brimming with love for humanity, Richard gives us telling anecdotes about real American women – seemingly a very different species.
When Richard – a personable, educated, solvent male – approached women in his youth, he met remarks like: “You’re so ugly I wish I was a lesbian”; “fuck off”; “Go shoot yourself”. Now, encounters like this are very rarely described in the legacy media – yet seem rather commonplace in contemporary North America. Likewise, the ubiquitous female attraction to thugs and psychopaths is widely discussed on MRA blogs and websites, yet comprehensively vetoed by the 'mainstream' media. It seems that TV and the print media are living in a cocoon of utter self-delusion on any issue that might cast women in a negative light - in short, hopelessly out-of-touch with mainstream experience. This partly explains their recent marginalization and decline into low-brow slogans and platitudes - nowadays, only working class morons, knee-jerk conservatives and libtard fanatics uncritically swallow the puritanical misandry peddled by Murdoch’s legacy press: thinking people have gone elsewhere for news and opinion (according to Reuters, 70% of Americans now consider the media 'out of touch').
This dramatic shift raises many issues of interest to MRAs and anti-feminists. With the media’s hegemony crumbling, we are seeing reality aright for the first time in centuries. While the mainstream Anglo-American media would have us believe that 60 year old women are as attractive as 20 year olds, that all men want sex with Sarah Jessica Parker, that fashion models are all leaping around in bed with truck drivers, that women aren’t hypergamous and that no one is INCEL – in short, a farrago of fictions – most thinking people now see that these are remarkably silly messages. The point being, only since the Internet emerged has any opportunity for consensus social reality to be described or upheld at all – prior to the Internet, reality was systematically vetoed.
The Internet revolution also permits new perspectives on long-standing men’s issues. It has long been assumed by PUAs and conservative anti-feminists that the late sixties weakened monogamy, allowing women to pursue 'alpha' thugs and celebrities and creating a large rump of sexually disenfranchised males. While there is some truth in this model, an alternative explanation exists. In short, could it be that there have always been sexually-disenfranchised, INCEL males – that they are not new at all? Perhaps they only seem so because - prior to the Internet - there was no way for them to articulate their experience.
The media aimed at the Anglo-American working class projects a strongly sexualized agenda – ‘everyone’ is having sex ten times a day in Murdoch-world. Given that Anglo-American working class males are – given their low incomes and desultory life-chances – unlikely to enjoy much high-quality sex, one must accept that this is classic hegemonic manipulation at work. Further, anyone who dares challenge these mass hallucinations is reflexively lambasted as a ‘freak’ or ‘misfit’. And the middle class media (GQ, Men’s Health, Esquire) are little better, largely devised by Anglo-American homosexuals and projecting a denatured, high-bourgeois fantasy world as some kind of hyper-real ‘norm’.
But now – zum Teufel! – we have a plethora of blogs, websites and social media where normal people can express themselves without Murdoch’s tyrannical filter. It is our contention that this explosion gives the impression that INCEL males, PUAs and MRAs are something new – when they have always existed, albeit in a voiceless state. After all, the voiceless might as well not exist, for all practical purposes. Similarly, anti-feminist dissent has a 'fresh-minted' aura that is entirely spurious: a good British magazine called Male View existed in the early 90s, covering much of the ground now ably traversed by Angry Harry (I know – I published in it). Of course, Male View came by subscription only – its message was too radical for the mainstream – but it still existed, albeit in a marginalized state. In sum, the Internet has made the marginal mainstream.
Anders Breivik’s massacre in Norway has caused the Anglo-American Establishment much angst, most of it focussing on how online ‘communities of interest’ can form spontaneously in cyberspace, blissfully free of their ideological control (the manosphere being a good example). This fear is interesting, since fear always betrays weakness:
Anders Behring Breivik: Tunnel vision in an online world
Every country needs some degree of cohesion. Just how much is a legitimate matter of dispute. Some believe that cultural pluralism is a recipe for fragmentation and the loss of trust. This may be the case, but not necessarily. So long as common institutions function impartially – education, housing, work etc – a society can live well with considerable diversity. However, the moment we cease to speak to each other, something serious is under way. This is exactly what happened with Breivik and many of his co-believers: they developed a parallel reality on the internet.
The role of the internet in fragmenting the public sphere has been the subject of some scholarly and journalistic interest, most recently in Eli Pariser's excellent The Filter Bubble, which shows how Google, Facebook and other major actors filter our web searches, updates etc according to our user profiles and previous cyberhistories. So if I am an environmentalist typing "climate change" into Google, I get a different set of results from you, if you are an oil executive. The filter bubble operates on Amazon by giving personal recommendations; in its more insidious ways, it tailors our web searches to confirm our pre-existing world view without us noticing. Eventually, we may drift apart and end up living in different worlds.
Breivik must willingly have allowed himself to be brainwashed by Islamophobic and extreme rightwing websites. However, had he instead been forced to receive his information through a broadsheet newspaper, where not all the stories dealt with Europe's loss of confidence and the rise of militant Islam, it is conceivable that his world would have looked slightly different. Perhaps one lesson from this weekend of shock and disbelief may be that cultural pluralism is not necessarily a threat to national cohesion, but that the tunnel vision resulting from selective perusal of the internet is.
Thomas Hylland Eriksen, The Guardian UK, 25 July 2011
'... had he instead been forced to receive his information through a broadsheet newspaper, where not all the stories dealt with Europe's loss of confidence and the rise of militant Islam, it is conceivable that his world would have looked slightly different.'
True enough - but would his world have looked like reality? The same discourse emerged in relation to George Sodini - if he had not been immersed in the PUA subculture, would he have shot the people? Well, had Sodini been listening to the 'mainstream' media (and there is no evidence he did not) he would still have thought himself a crazy misfit - and perhaps been even more dangerous. After all, the 'mainstream' media's distorted fixation with demographic oddities - rich people, cross-class relationships, teenagers, alternative lifestyles - is hardly conducive to normal social adjustment. British academic John Downing cites evidence that people who watch a lot of TV hugely exaggerate the number of privately-owned helicopters, tennis courts, swimming pools and mansions in western societies - clear proof the 'mainstream' media promotes a delusional view of the world. How, then, can accepting the 'mainstream' media promote proper adjustment when it projects such delusions as casual norms?
The establishment's worries were recently compounded by the riots in England, challenges to the power elite's hegemony organized through social networking media. Prime Minister David Cameron has already promised to shut down social networking channels during future riots. This highlights the danger they represent to our oppressors - and the opportunities they give to us.