A few days ago, the SPLC released the latest issue of its “Intelligence Report,” which contained a headline article by Mark Potok called “Hate and Antigovernment ‘Patriot’ Groups Down As Activism Shifts To Cyberspace.” The gist of the article is that White Nationalists have been abandoning real world groups and activities in favor of the safety and anonymity of the internet.
“There is also evidence that large numbers of extremists have left organized groups because of the high social cost of being known to affiliate with them. Many of those people apparently now belong to no group, but operate instead mainly on the Internet, where they can offer their opinions anonymously and easily find others who agree with them – and where they can be heard by huge numbers of people without the hassles, dues and poor leadership associated with membership in most groups. At the same time, those with violent criminal inclinations are increasingly opting to act as lone wolves or in very small cells, not connected to organized larger groups, which is another, smaller factor in the decline of these groups. …
Some analysts have suggested that posting extremist material actually lessens violence, serving as a kind of safety valve for people who might otherwise engage in terrorism or, at least, real-world movement-building activity. And there is probably some truth in that – most “keyboard commandos” don’t accomplish much.”
Who could argue with that?
For the last 15 years, the White Nationalist movement has been dominated by the internet. I’ve seen the march toward cyberspace progress from a single vBulletin forum, to multiple vBulletin forums and Yahoo groups, to WordPress blogs and podcasts, and most recently, to popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. White Nationalists have gone whole hog into the internet. To cite two noteworthy milestones, American Renaissance ceased its print publication in 2012, and David Duke now spends his time begging his followers to save his YouTube channel.
While the internet sector has surged over the last twenty years, there has been a corresponding decline in real world activity. From an organizational and leadership standpoint, most pro-White groups in the United States are weaker today than they were in the 1990s. There are fewer events in the real world. There are fewer people showing up at protests and conferences. The taboos against White racial consciousness are stronger than ever before. Political correctness has grown much worse in my lifetime. We live in a much more hostile political climate.
Needless to say, I incline toward the view that the internet has had a largely negative impact on the White Nationalist movement. I wasn’t planning to write anything about the SPLC report until an incident which happened yesterday that put all the negative aspects of cyberracialism right back into the spotlight.
This concerns a Facebook page called “Pioneer Little Europe”:
I can’t remember why I “liked” this page on Facebook … it probably popped up as a suggestion in my newsfeed, and I subscribed to it because other people I know had “liked” it too, and I generally support the PLE concept of likeminded people settling down in the same area to raise their children in a community that supports their racial and religious values. At a glance, it seemed harmless enough.
That was my impression until these hysterical posts from “Pioneer Little Europe” started popping up in my newsfeed. The person who runs this page was angry because Thomas Buhls had deleted a Facebook share on the Trad Youth page – and because of something as trivial and ridiculous as a minor internet disagreement, he immediately jumped to the conclusion that Trad Youth was in cahoots with the SPLC, is being run by “Zionists” as a “controlled opposition,” and that the group’s symbol has something to do with the House of Rothschild because of a superficial resemblance.
I chimed in to point out that I have known Matt in real life for years, that he is a dedicated activist, that he isn’t a “Zionist,” and that he is married to a different woman who is the daughter of another well known pro-White activist. It’s true that he used to be much more moderate than he is now. Like many people, his views changed over time as he learned more about these issues. None of this seemed to matter, however, because someone was still butthurt over a deleted Facebook share:
In an exchange of over 300 Facebook comments, it got to the point where the admin of “Pioneer Little Europe” was repeatedly using vulgarity and bashing the appearance of Matt’s wife, and was creepily posting pics of various young women who had sent in photos to support the PLE concept. What’s more, the anonymous person who runs this Facebook page doesn’t appear to be involved in any real world PLE community at all, and has no association with the Pioneer Little Europe website.
He is fond of calling himself a “Ghost Activist.”
If you are wondering what the hell is a “Ghost Activist,” the term refers to an anonymous person who trolls other people on Facebook and attempts to game the Facebook reporting system to get their page shutdown. Apparently, he has already done this to the “This Is Europa” page, which is another pro-White Facebook page with thousands of “likes” which he has labeled “Zionist” for some reason or another.
The “Fuck WNs” and “PLE is a joke” communities approve this message.
Why shouldn’t they? The anonymity of the internet has exacerbated the fear, paranoia, and extreme individualism that has paralyzed the White Nationalist movement. It has given a platform and an audience to anonymous trolls to sow discord and division. It has severed the bonds of trust that naturally form through real world relationships, eliminated leadership and structures of authority, and has replaced it all with an atomized scene in cyberspace where anonymous strangers try and fail to pool their resources on the basis of shared commitment to an abstract ideology. Across the board, it has made us weaker and less likely to assert ourselves in any collective effort.
Don’t get me wrong: the internet has huge potential as a medium for spreading our message around the censors in the mainstream media. We couldn’t ask for a better fundraising, networking, and organizing tool. If the internet had been used properly, it would have been a huge boon to the pro-White cause, but that’s not what has happened. It has never been easier to connect with other likeminded people. Yet the paradox is that we have never been more isolated and disorganized.
In the real world, PLEs should be able to cut out much of the bile in the White Nationalist movement by restoring face-to-face relationships in a community setting. That’s not going to happen though by setting up Facebook pages of purely anonymous, internet-based “Ghost Activists” for the purpose of trolling and spreading rumors about other pro-White activists. Instead, that will contribute to and exacerbate a preexisting problem, and it will likely tarnish the reputation of the PLE concept in the process.
Caveat emptor. Steer clear of this Facebook page.