If anybody was in doubt that the run-up to the next election was going to be any less bizarre and typified by the corruption of the political by memetic contamination than the previous cycle…

The always-energetic Nishiki Prestige has commented briefly on this phenomenon in a recent post (disclaimer: the above two tweets were pilfered from his tl)—and what is particularly interesting is the sense of enthusiasm for Yang stems from a sense of disaffection resulting from, on the one hand, the recapturing and recoding of the divergences of 2016 into the status quo, and on the other the implosion of the so-called alt-right in 2017. As schism and factionalization took hold—and as Nick Land has pointed out, the alt-right is generally hostile to these things, which puts it at odds with its NRx cousin—strange hybrids like the ‘alt center’ and the ‘alt-left’ came into being (1, 2, 3). Perhaps such things are to be expected, per Land’s suggestion that the alt-right’s “essential populism” caused it to be inclined to be “inclined to anti-capitalism, ethno-socialism, grievance politics, and progressive statism”. Deeper still, however, these developments, by want of the ubiquity of UBI to it all, brings us back once again to the host of questions posed by the Left Acceleration moment— most specifically that of the curious resemblance of that program with the one posed by the stagnationists of the right.

Also food for thought: Andrew Yang proposes the creation of Anthropol as part of his legislative agenda.

4 thoughts on “Flip-over

  1. Arran Crawford

    Isn’t the YangGang just a nihilistic symptom? Everyone is sold that one or another apocalypse is imminent. The sentiment seems to be that if it is all going to hell then just give me my goddamn yangbux. This is optimism in the abyss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it’s a symptom of something, no doubt about that — and what you’re describing is undoubtedly true in part. That said, I don’t think it’s wholly reducible to that, as many of the ideological drifts and mutations that happened in the wake of the alt-right’s meltdown — drifts and mutations that seem to be moving to fore — were not motivated in the first instance out of a “fuck it all” mentality. But ofc we do need to carefully parse apart how much of it, at the present juncture, is the continuation of this transformation, and much how is passively nihilistic. Even moreso, it seems like YangGang shouldn’t be reducible to just the alt-right or the post-altright trajectories; I don’t think that’s true just on a quantitative level, but imo the bewildering effect of cyberpolitics (simultaneous massification and fragmentation, memetic contagion stripping out the enlightenment-rational subject) confounds this form of analysis. These are all things I hope to be writing on more as the American political machine heats up…

      On a completely different level though, it will be nice to see the question of automation and the like entering into mass discourse!


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