The Provacateur

Way back, before the olden thymes, there was a guy calling himself Ken Kesey. He is famous with Baby Boomers for having led the Merry Pranksters, a group of hippies and degenerates, that scandalized American society in the 1960’s. He and his crew drove a psychedelic school bus across country, hosting parties and handing out LSD. Tom Wolfe wrote about their early escapades in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Most people no longer recall that Kesey wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

That last fact is important. The movie version of his book is a classic that transcends generations. The movie was released 42 years ago and people still reference it today, even when they don’t know it. It’s like The Godfather or Gone With The Wind. Despite its status, Kesey is best remembered for a bus trip a half century ago. That’s because his provocative hi-jinks came to represent a key element of the counter-culture movement we associate with the 1960’s and the baby Boomer culture that arose from it.

The provocateur has always had a role in human affairs. The court jester, in many respects, was the formalization of this role. The jester was the one person who could mock public piety – to a point. Eventually, the role of the formal jester was replaced by theater and then comedians and writers. The pranksters and now the internet provocateur are an extension of this, and to some degree a revival of the classic jester. Kesey was jester for his age. Today, an Andrew Anglin is the jester of the modern information age.

For those unfamiliar with Anglin, he is the guy behind the infamous website The Daily Stormer, which has been shutdown on numerous occasions. Whether or not it was actually shut down by his registrar is hard to know, but most people believe it and that’s what is important. If it was shut down because it was outlandishly offensive, or he cooked up the story as a prank, is not important. Whether it was provocation or a prank, it has put the spotlight on the very real fact that on-line speech is now controlled by an oligopoly.

That is precisely the role of the provocateur. What Anglin is doing, by running around breaking every conceivable taboo, is forcing a debate on the topic of speech. How much speech will be permitted and who will set and enforce the limits are fundamental questions that determine the arc of a society. In America, it has long been understood that the limits are immediate public safety and they are set after long public deliberation and due process. Everyone is taught the famous line about burning theaters for that reason.

Americans have also just assumed that free expression is to sacred that no one would dare violate it, but that is not where we find ourselves today. The people in charge believe they have found a loophole. They have outsourced policing speech to private companies, who can claim to be enforcing terms of service as private companies. Under the current arrangements, FaceBorg can ban any mention of the country Niger, even though it is perfectly legal to yell “Niger!” in a crowded theater.

That’s the value of an Andrew Anglin. Yes, his pint-sized Nazi routine is tiresome and stupid to most people. His followers on-line are embarrassing to those involved in dissident politics. This was true of hippies and the Merry Pranksters too. Read a guy like David Horowitz and you’ll learn that people in the New Left worried greatly about the loose cannons and provocateurs. In the end they figured out it was best to just let those guys do their thing and not comment on the acts, but focus on the larger moral issues they raised.

That’s how a guy like Andrew Anglin should be treated. You don’t want to be seen standing next to him at a public event, but you do want to be seen supporting his right to attend public events. You don’t want to be paling around with him on-line or posting links to his stuff, but you do want to be the guy defending his right to be a Nazi asshole on the internet. When his antics threaten your assets, you want to be the guy who crushes him like a bug. The jester must always serve at the pleasure of the king.

That’s what some of the important figures in this thing have to learn. Anglin causing trouble on Gab, for example, is fine up to the point where he puts the enterprise in jeopardy. At that point, the owner needs to quietly step on him. Similarly, alt-right big shots would be wise to comment about Anglin and his antics, but not get in bed with him. Anglin is a pyromaniac who can just as easily burn down your house as someone else’s house, so you don’t invite him to stay in your basement, where you keep the flammables.

The thing to remember is provocateurs and jesters are important tools in modern political discourse. The key to victory is to destroy the other side’s moral authority. The most effective way to do that is to mock their piety and taunt them into revealing the face behind the mask they present to the public. When someone loses their marbles over being mocked by an Andrew Anglin, they inevitably say and do things that reduce their status in the eyes of the public. Don’t be that guy and don’t be the guy standing next to Anglin.

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Member
The Stormers, Richard Spencer, and the former Occupy/Obama guy that organized the flytrap in Charlotte have done an amazing job of exposing the madness of the left. The effort to make racism seem the epitome of sin failed miserably – first because so few people stood with the LARPers, second because so many leftists and Democrats and GOPeanuts stood with the psychotic Black Block. Racists – in all flavors – are usually dumb, and it doesn’t take long to figure that out. But they aren’t violent except in extreme circumstances. Leftists, on the other hand, are always about revolution –… Read more »
A.T. Tapman
Member

Raysists powerless? What do you think causes negroes to commit crimes, fail academically, and use an inordinate amount of welfare and social services? Powerless indeed.

Old Surfer
Guest

That remark needs a little clarification. Do you mean racism in general or can you be more specific. God knows there’s a lot going around, but it isn’t unidirectional by any means!

A.T. Tapman
Member

I was referring to the only type of raysism that counts, White Raysisms.

Member

It could be the kind of racism whereby 50 percent of rapes of white women are perpetrated by blacks and, according to the FBI, the number of white on black rapes rounds down to zero.

Zeroh Tollrants
Guest

“Racists-in all flavors-are usually dumb, and it doesn’t take long to figure that out.”

Define racists.

Member
People that think the race defines the individual. Won’t hire a qualified black guy with good references because he’s black. Think all white people are rich and privileged. Think all Hispanics are lazy. Basically, anyone that tars the individual with the stereotype. Not saying the stereotypes aren’t largely accurate (they are a useful shorthand), but if you refuse to at least give a listen to someone like Thomas Sowell, Hernando De Soto (the living economist, not the dead Conquistador), Nicholas Nassim Taleb, or Spinoza because they are (in order) black, hispanic, Lebanese, and Jewish, then your opinion is too simple… Read more »
Zeroh Tollrants
Guest

“Not all instances of racism are dumb,” and “racists-in all flavors-are usually dumb,” seem to be a bit contradictory, but, I can live with it.
I appreciate you taking the time to give me a detailed answer.

Ryan T
Guest

I listened to his debate with vox and he didn’t come across as knowledgeable or having a consistent political vision. I will go back to my original position of co sidering him a malignant cell.

Glenfilthie
Guest
The quality of his work has definitely fallen off. Lately he is exhibiting all the traits of the ‘gamma males’ that he hates so much. Awhile back he admonished everyone not to ‘punch tight’ on fascists on the grounds that they could be used as useful fools against the left. Now he’s beating up on cellar dwelling fascists and pasty faced poseurs and strutting around as if he’s some kind of crusading tough guy… like the flits at Antifa. He’s accused dozens of people of pedophilia on the internet and now he’s waging lawfare against Gab because someone called him… Read more »
Member

So much stuff is going down right now and so many sacred alt right internet cows are being busted that I’m really struggling to keep up.

Tim Newman
Guest

Kesey’s book is good too. I read it at college and liked it, read it again a few years later and never forgot the author’s name. I saw the film later, and yes, it’s also very good.

Member
My med school psychiatric rotation was at a VA psychiatric hospital that also served as a TB sanitarium and alcohol and drug rehab facility. Learned a lot about syphilis there. It looked just like the place in that movie, and there were characters in it that were similar, too. The head shrink was a guy who was a truck driver before going to med school. One of my classmates was interviewing a new admission and the guy punched him in the face. A bunch of us trapped the bastard behind a mattress and got him in a strait jacket. While… Read more »
D&D Dave in the bubble
Guest
D&D Dave in the bubble
Meanwhile, Congressional GOP establishment lifers quietly sit by and rub their hands under the table with glee. This silent censorship is just what their doctor ordered to start removing their critics from the spotlight. Ah if we could only turn the internet into television from the 60’s, before cable, where there were 3 major networks, some local indies ant the occasional UHF station if you had enough tin foil on the internal antenna and the moon was at crescent. The news was so easy to control then. Oh wait, we are already moving in that direction! My bad!
Issac
Guest
I think the self-styled “alt-lite,” is expending too much energy on the fringe of the “alt-right,” because they have otherwise run out of things that feel close to being under their control. That’s understandable with Trump waffling on so many issues and controversial speakers being blamed for riotous behavior on the left; however, there was never anything to gain by trying to strike at the internet nazis or tell them they aren’t right-wing. They don’t care about decorum and have even less respect for political dipoles. Yes, Anglin’s tabloid is a gadfly. Every political and social movement has theirs. Israel… Read more »
TWS
Guest

You removed a nod to the gods?

Dutch
Guest

The provocateur often shows prescience in describing elements of the future. Kesey’s Nurse Ratched keeps running for president.

The Left’s favorite provocateur of the hour is Margaret Atwood and her Handmaid’s Tale. It perfectly predicted the rise of the fundamentalist Muslim culture that the Left is so in love with today. The cognitive dissonance, it burns!

Member

Great take on what’s going on. I don’t want Anglin leading anything I’m associated with, but I can’t see our side winning without people like him running interference for us, either.

Member

This exactly; I’ve been kind of rudderless with VD going full crazy over some random nazi larper’s anonymous bantz. I’m glad people are putting things into perspective.

Whiskey
Guest
There is however a huge difference between the Establishment and the Dissidents. The Establishment can rely on the Press to smother any mention of anti-fa lunacy and extreme anti-White hatred. While it can also rely on Anglin and the rest posting Nazi stuff and various depictions of Jews out of Goebbels to be amplified to anyone to the right of Pol Pot. This is reality, and we on the Dissident side have to deal with this reality, pretending won’t make it go away. My solution is for the Dissident Right to embrace Bibi-ism; and talk about how awesome Israel is… Read more »
Member

So, to avoid being defamed by the Jewish media you have to say how great the Jews are?

Now, who would the main beneficiaries of that strategy be?

Glenfilthie
Guest
It’s brilliant – somebody set Whiskey up with another round! Bile is buying! Bibi is hated with the heat of 1000 suns by the Marxist Jewish media slobs. Doing as Whisky suggests would A. Ally us with some very powerful and intelligent friends B. Drive a wedge into our enemies and isolate Jewish media slobs C. Undermine the common charges against the dissident right such as anti-semitism and fascism. The Alt Right tried to use fascists as useful fools the same way the left uses turd-brained proggies and the strategy clearly failed. Now consider: how about we poach some of… Read more »
Ivar
Guest

Whisky, you have the AltRight confused with the Tea Party.

Zeroh Tollrants
Guest

The Normies becoming Shabbos Goyim and “liking” Israel and the Jews, and allowing Jews to dictate our foreign policy, is how we ended up in the situation we are in, in the first place. I fail to see how making ourselves into a tribe of pseudo Shabbos Goyim to appeal to Normies while touting the policies of Israel gets us out of our present day problems, but it may come to that. We can get Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity to lead us, I guess.

Member
Zeroh Tollrants
Guest

Sam Hyde is right. They totally do.Just look at John Podhoretz.

Severian
Guest
This is where the “Facebook is a public utilty” argument fails, I think. I can get fired for writing “Donald Trump is a Nazi!” all over my employer’s intranet. I can win a Pulitzer for writing “Donald Trump is a Nazi!” all over the New York Times’ editoral page (also known as the “news” section). Can the NY Times refuse to sell me a paper if I write letter after letter to the editor claiming “Donald Trump is a Nazi!”? If Faceberg can’t police speech under “terms of service” because they’re a public utility, is the NYT forced to print… Read more »
Jimmy
Guest

the alt right, alt lite, NAZI LARPers, cuckservative issue is, and I mean this sincerely, legitimately interesting to me…

my only problem is that I’m not sure how much it helps the movement, and the problem seems ultimately intractable and not open to intentional intervention anyway. I wonder if we’re not just better leaving the whole thing to the so called “animal spirits” as it were and move on to other things.

fodderwing
Guest
Nancy Pelosi proved an important point when she said something like “you can’t just cry ‘wolf’ in a crowded theater.” There really is no “debate” going on in the U.S. concerning free speech. You are correct in saying that policing speech has been outsourced to the big corporations, but it is really nothing new, and it actually includes outsourcing most of the social change the left desires. For example, I remember more than 30 years ago AT&T began celebrating the gay agenda, and any complaint from employees earned them a quick trip to the re-education camp. Corporate “leadership” on social… Read more »
Member

What Pelosi proved is what an ignorant cnut she is.
You can’t cry fire in a crowded theatre.

slumlord
Guest
There’s so much that is wrong in this post. Where to begin. One of the main reasons why the Right has been on a losing streak for the last century is precisely because of its inability to define itself. This is a far deeper problem than many realise. Having the Right “Feelz” should not be conflated with being Right wing. Anglin’s free speech rights are irrelevant here. The fact that Anglin is given a sympathetic forum by anyone on the Right shows you just how pozzed the Right is. National Socialism was precisely that, a National Leftism. How someone encapsulating… Read more »
Sharrukin
Guest

Buckley and National Review purged the badthinkers from the right and they kept losing despite their purity.

The right that has had their butts kicked for decade after decade have spent enormous effort disavowing and condemning those evil racists and Nazis.

It hasn’t worked…ever.

You want to replicate the same failed strategy and expect that it will somehow magically work this time.

No election has made any difference because the right accepts the lefts definitions and roll over anytime they point and shriek Nazi.

slumlord
Guest

The Right has been losing well before Buckley did his purges. Buckely’s problem is that he didn’t purge more ruthlessly. He was right to purge the Stormfags but he was wrong in not purging the Neocons.

Sharrukin
Guest

Right, because the most pure and moral actor always wins in the political arena.

Like Bill Clinton.

This is out of control naivete.

Member

Keep on purging. Enjoy your one man party.

It’s called political Onanism.

Karl McHungus
Guest

name it the “Free America Party”

james wilson
Guest

Wrong. The winning strategies are to either ignore the prog chirping or to put a thumb in their eyes. Never apologize. Scott Adams details this understanding, which is the Trump strategy. And if you can’t deal with the worm don’t drink the Mezcal. Wine for you.

Member

There is always something more left.
If the right can’t define what it is, how can it be achieved?

Eclectic Esoteric
Guest

The jester is the shadow or dark side of the magician archetype. This fool’s extremes are tolerated because, after all, he is just a fool, as he gets away with gutting the virtue signalers to their hypocritical core. He is a catalyst in the exposure of progressive rhetoric’s double standards, stripping false narratives to the bone as we vicariously share his sadistic glee.

Member

Line o the week

” Fact is, most of these people wouldn’t be the main characters in stories about their own lives”

http://thedeclination.com/hurricanes-nightclubs-and-logic-traps/

jimvonyork
Guest

Also from the same link, “If someone wants to call you a racist, shrug it off and eject him from your life”, or do it my way, just say “So”

cerulean
Guest
Z, I’d appreciate it if you could analyze and opine at some point on the position Ward Connerly took in his initiatives for color-blindness in state hiring, contracting, and university acceptance. Seems to me your thoughts on that point of view would be relevant to the opinion formation that’s happening here. I remember ringing doorbells with petitions for that initiative back in the day. About half the homes I visited were willing to sign; those who declined were mostly polite. The initiative got to the ballot and was actually voted into law here. Of course that law’s intent has been… Read more »
Member

Connelly was a hero to me at one time. He was a visionary and could see where things were going to to go with the early anti-white bias and the backlash that would ultimately result. I haven’t thought about him in some time. Apparently he’s still alive, but at 78, not as active.

One thing is evident from watching that whole thing play out: moderation doesn’t produce results. You set your goal far beyond what you want, then maybe you get what you want.

That’s the Art of the Deal.

Robert Mugabe and Trump are actually the same man.

cerulean
Guest
“…: moderation doesn’t produce results. ” Perhaps. It’s not necessarily either-or. It may be either-or for one individual or for a single organization. But not for a whole movement. The Left has advanced on many different fronts using different degrees of stridency and comfort. But they make most of their advances in the name of “fairness,” appealing to the legendary soccer moms. They won an important anti-gun ballot measure in my state a while back by campaigning for “common-sense safety regulations.” They did not advocate taking everyone’s guns (as they want to do) and then saying, “oh.that’s what we asked… Read more »
Zeroh Tollrants
Guest
There was a bizarre brilliance to The Daily Stormer, that so many missed, which was unfortunate. Anglin spent a long time studying how to defang the cherished taboos of the holocaust, feminism, racism, etc., for the Gen Z crowd, and they were who he wrote his blog for, not an older audience, who just didn’t always get it. I remember the first time I stumbled across it, being taken aback, but after spending a few days acclimating myself to the writing, I caught on to the tone of it, and understood the purpose of its harshness was not to just… Read more »
Bruno the Arrogant
Guest

Anglin’s humor was a bit too much on the sociopathic side even for me, but he is an effective canary in the coal mine. If the corporations/government/whoever is effective in shutting him down, that sets a precedent. If they can get away with it this time, they’ll be a lot less bashful employing that tactic again. If they can get away with taking an inch, the next time they’ll go for the whole mile.

Al from da Nort
Guest
Z Man; Hate to partially disagree, but It is pragmatically important to distinguish between a basically harmless-but-annoying ‘jester’ (like Ken Kesey) from a deeply dangerous ‘provocateur’. Kesey (hadn’t thought about that guy for 45 years) was essentially a jester, as you presciently point out. Maybe Anglin is one too, don’t know. But Kessler, the guy who organized the Charlottesville fly trap operation, was a true provocateur. And we need to be very wary of such. I guess anybody who has not been made acquainted with the old history of commie techniques and counter-techniques, via the required study once required of… Read more »
Anonymous White Male
Guest

Speaking of Kesey, how do people here feel about hallucinogens? Do you believe that natural hallucinogens like Psilocybin and Mescaline have any useful Psychiatric uses? Do you believe that synthetic hallucinogens can also be tools or do you believe that all hallucinogens should be avoided?

Bruno the Arrogant
Guest
When I was a young guy I thought they were a lot of fun! Apparently LSD showed signs of being useful for treating alcoholism, such that Bill Wilson, founder of AA, endorsed it. My observation is that they aren’t particularly dangerous – I’ve never known of anyone experiencing any permanent harm from psychedelics, unless they had some other pre-existing condition. But I’m not sure they offer any advantage when being used recreationally, either. Mostly they seem to be something people try a few times and then get bored with. I don’t regret my experiences with them. On the other hand,… Read more »
Al from da Nort
Guest
AWM; LSD etc. was a thing among my contemporaries in the mid ’60s. Most reacted as Bruno did, some had bad trips and never tried it again, but a (relatively small) number were completely ruined by the experience, ended up in psych hospitals, spent the rest of their lives on psych meds, eventual suicide, etc. *Two died* as a direct result from LSD induced accidents. Now, you may say that the bad stuff was going to happen anyway because it’s well known that young adulthood is when schizophrenic breaks and other forms of mental illness show up, etc. But I… Read more »
Tax Slave
Guest

Z man, I’m shocked that you overlooked what is by far the greatest influence Kesey had over society: he single handedly emptied the state mental institutions putting them permanently out of business with the popularity of his book and subsequent film. Lo and behold, by the next decade the “homeless problem” was suddenly caused by Reagan’s heartless conservative policies, not liberals swinging open the gates of mental institutions for the inmates to roam the streets.

Karl McHungus
Guest

you are mistaking cause and effect. kessey had nothing to do with the emptying of mental hospitals.

Member
When someone loses their marbles over being mocked by an Andrew Anglin, they inevitably say and do things that reduce their status in the eyes of the public. Don’t be that guy… I assume this rather opaque statement refers to the bizarre behavior of Ted Beale (the LARPing Dark Lord of his very own Slytherin House of Dreadsome Dorks, or whatever they’re called), who’s been acting strangely since Charlottesville (with his weird tirades about Taiwanese National Socialists and “Nazis are the real leftists” and whatnot) and who recently seems to have gone completely off the rails (“By Grabthar’s hammer, sirrah,… Read more »
Member

No, I think he’s right to not address it directly. Attacking VD’s crowd is just more infighting; he’s been effective at relaying things to me in the past and I’d just prefer he’d drop this insane crusade to purity spiral “the alt right.” Hopefully, he realizes that this is stupid and moves on as if this never happened. I doubt he’ll admit he was out of his mind, especially on that crazy legal battle with gab, but maybe he can at least pretend this was all part of some master plan and drop the thing entirely.

Member

This is the most reasoned thought on the current infighting I’ve seen yet; I hate anglin, but I see your point. That said, I wish VD’s crew would drop this retarded fake right meme. It reeks of boomer and accomplishes nothing.

Member

“Reeks of boomer” good insight. VD is still fighting his father’s old fights to a certain extent. I can see that because I did the same thing for a while. Part of being an adult is being able to bury hatchets from a generation or two back. A lot of what happened then has become irrelevant and not pertinent to being able to function in the present. Honoring your father and mother does not extend into participating in their personal tempers and petty irrationalities.

guest
Guest

Anglin plays a part, and that part is to make us look bad.

Theodoric
Guest
Desensitization works both ways. Rhetorically, this whole nazi fad has outlived it’s usefulness. I learned something by disagreeing with the Storm fags on Gab. They tried some of their usual taunts on me and they fell flat. It is all boring and overused. Cuck has lost it’s effectiveness. Calling those who disagree with them the “Sekrit Joo” is so outdone it is laughable. Their “gonna put you in the EZ bake oven” meme is boring. Just like the liberals, who called people racist till it no longer meant anything, their rhetoric is dull and retarded and no longer effective. The… Read more »
Karl McHungus
Guest

for me, the most salient fact of the ken kessey story, is how he lost his son in an auto accident. all of ken’s fame and notoriety ended up being for nothing…

Caleo
Guest

One reason I always respected Kesey was that he was a genuinely tough guy in real life. He was All American wrestling in college, as was his son. His son was a division 1 wrestler and he died on the way to or from a wrestling tournament with his team, if I remember correctly.
Losing a child is devastating for parents, and Kesey wrote lovingly about his lost child. Some fellow travelers say Kesey was never the same after the loss.

Eclectic Esoteric
Guest

The zenith of cognitive dissonance has been actualized. The biology denier -nazi school administration is proudly preparing the thought crematoriums in readiness for the innocent minds of children this fall.
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/09/embracing-ancestry-genetic-code-and-melanin.php

Zeroh Tollrants
Guest

Will there be a time, coming in the foreseeable future, where Normies will finally realize that this identity politics war isn’t going away, but is growing stronger, and that they will have to pick a side if they want to survive, or will they continue to pretend it isn’t happening, as they watch the HMS Titanic that is the US of A, slowly slip under the water?

Eclectic Esoteric
Guest

Normie Flight from public education is underway.

TomA
Guest

I would argue that provocateurs like Anglin are a sideshow that obscures (rather than highlights) the deeper and more serious problem of the methodology that has been employed to bring about the demise of free speech. It’s not just the tyranny of the mass media oligarchs that has brought this upon us, but also the complicity of the other institutions that remain silent or stay on the sidelines. The culture of freedom that birthed this country is diseased and growing weaker by the day.

The Walkin\' Dude
Guest

I like this blog. You don’t block mundane comments like old Red Stinky Pete at WRSA.

Jackson
Guest

Ken Kesey was NOT a baby-boomer, Zed.
He was born in 1933, a full decade before the boomers.
YOU are more of a boomer than Kesey will ever be.
YOU were born in 1967. eh? Only three years outside the boom, a cusper.
Yet, you have taken on the ridiculous and ahistorical habit of thrashing the boomers for everything.

It’s sort of funny and understandable when Mellenials do that, but kinda pathetic to see you channeling them.

Paul Bonneau
Guest
Thanks for bringing up these points. I had assumed that “provocateur” meant someone working for the other side (which would make Anglin a leftist), but that is actually an “agent provocateur”. An ordinary provocateur is simply one who provokes. My take on folks like Anglin are similar to yours. I figure the way you find a website that supports free speech, is to find one with Nazis on it – even if I think most Nazis are either fools or actual “agents provocateurs”. If such are not there, the site is one for which free speech is not a priority.… Read more »
Paul Bonneau
Guest

BTW don’t forget Keysey’s even more important novel, “Sometimes a Great Notion”. That house is still sitting on the Siletz River in Oregon; I drive by it now and then.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067774/mediaviewer/rm614927872

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