Dec 8, 2016

The alt-right is filled with party starters, the left with party poopers

It is not intrinsically more ethical to be a brat. It is, however, more seductive.

Helen Razer — Writer and broadcaster

Helen Razer

Writer and broadcaster

Emma Goldman may have never uttered the words to an earnest comrade, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be in your revolution”. They may have been invented for a 1970s T-shirt. But she did utter some version of this statement, as Goldman was, in many accounts, a person who bored easily. This is not a good quality in leaders. I have never been involved in a revolution, but I imagine they demand a lot of tedious planning; social good, just like social evil, is likely a case of banality. Still. You don’t enrol many people to your cause without advertising fun. As is known by the alt-right, a group currently promising to dance with many bored young Goldmans.

Well, of course, no one with a family name of Goldman would be long tolerated by the alt-right, as Jewish writer Ben Shapiro learned. The point otherwise stands: recruit with the guarantee of entertainment. Whatever you think of the alt-right — and you should probably think nothing else but “what an anti-intellectual bunch of spoiled, soft-cock fascists” — others perceive them to be having fun.

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16 thoughts on “The alt-right is filled with party starters, the left with party poopers

  1. loz

    Fun….Moves in scattered waves in all direction as a mode of escape from ones experience of the past 24 hrs, 48 hrs, 72 hrs, 168 hrs, 8736 hrs or a growler of the past. So who has the ugliest history seems to party harder. Fun creates potential for failure, and we are witnessing it right now in the LNP’s duplicitous behaviour on many fronts. They walked out of immense victory into Abbotts disaster team followed by a Noon Gun to announce Turnbull who leads us, after the DD to resolve Senate issues, into unconnected and irrelevant discourse.
    These boys have resolved that the game is up and are bullshitting and partying hard much like just before the fall of the Roman Empire.
    Oh how a partner can yearn for a dose of Nigela and reflect in the kitchen as they prepare dinner for their busy co-conspirator.
    We humans are busy melting down every piece of relevance we once thought we had.

    1. loz

      I meant Abbott’s Suicide Squad, not disaster team.

  2. Joe Fitzpatrick

    “being bad is bad”
    Actually, Helen, there is some fascinating discussion on the blog “halaltofugaypizza” about how “bad” is just a label based on false consciousness. Has it occurred to you that the bad (and one really should use the term “non-good-aligned”) are the true victims of our own myopic prejudice? Badism has a long and rich history which we are appallingly ignorant of.

  3. Dog's Breakfast

    You may not be the world’s most entertaining leftist, but you’re up there HR.

    Certainly feels like someone else is having fun, and it ain’t the progressive left. Earnestness is such a bore. Would almost be happier to be at a party full of hard right nutters than a lefty convention, at least you could get a conversation going where you might be enlightened by it, if only by knowing your enemy better, but worst of all would have to be a party full of young liberals.

    1. Draco Houston


      If you have anything to bond with some rightey over you can have a good time even though you both hate each others politics. What would there be to talk about at a young libs party? They’d probably spend the whole time talking about the ALP or something.

  4. Peter Murphy

    You must be watching a different alt-right from me, Helen. Sometimes they look like they’re having fun, but often they come off as whining douches. Remember their ‘boycott’ of The Force Awakens? Second highest grossing film of all time. And it looks like they’re about to try the same ‘trick’ (ha!) with Rogue One.

  5. Richard King

    Oscar Wilde has to be the model, right? ‘Work is the enemy of the drinking classes.’ Fantastic piece, as always, Helen.

  6. Draco Houston

    I don’t know if it is a fair comparison, the center right have no sense of humour either. People being funny on the internet come in all kinds of ideological flavours. Just for whatever reason, the center-left think they’re facing off with the alt-right so we get to read a bunch of words about how they’re real and strong and very Bad.

    1. Helen Razer

      I think it’s fair in that I am comparing like with like. I.e. the popular and cheap and cheerful version of the right with that on the left. The popular “left” appeals to authority, while the popular right to punk instincts.

  7. Shane Maloney

    I blame the Trots, the sanctimonious fucks.

    1. Helen Razer

      I don’t disagree with what much of Trotsykists believe, of course. But they have evolved a particular culture. For a group initially opposed to united front thinking, they certainly have a lot of that going on. And Trot groups of the present are really interested in some stuff that I think is peculiar. Like same-sex marriage. Australian Trots openly dislike me, for example, for this reason, inter alia. Not so sure what the other reasons are. Suspect it’s because I haven’t been personally vetted by any of them. It’s a very closed shop. I think you have to sleep with someone to be a comrade.
      But. Yes. Trots have become very fixated on seriousness and unity and doing strategic things that appeal to authoritative impulses, such as supporting marriage. If you say “stuff you I think marriage is something we should do away with, or at least not honour” they tend to get all “well we’re living in the real world, little Missy”, which is funny coming from a bunch of people who largely have very nice jobs.

  8. Billius Bongus

    “what an anti-intellectual bunch of spoiled, soft-cock fascists”
    Nice one Raze.

  9. AR

    Excellent mordant piece, MzRaz and almost succinct though a cork should be kept on hand for that tendency to logorrhea.

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