[Editor's Note: This article was originally published at The Warden Post on March 15, 2019].
A Cassandra isn’t out of place among the ruins of dying societies. As it stands, doomsayers and end-times prophets can be found on every corner of the internet prognosticating the imminent demise of Western civilization. Amidst all this hullabaloo, we find one Andrew Yang, a curious figure whom the many burned-out shitlords and trolls, disappointed with President Trump’s lack of having done anything to reverse the spiraling course downward into further decadence that America now finds itself on, have latched onto in recent weeks.
At first glance, it comes as rather surprising why anyone on the Right would support, even ironically, an unapologetic leftist. From his vocal support of the LGBTQ to his endorsement of the New Green Deal, a mere perusal of either his Wikipedia and Twitter pages or campaign website reveals him to be in the same camp as some the of the most fervent of liberal progressives.
So why the sudden support?
The cornerstone of Yang’s campaign has been his promise to implement a Universal Basic Income amounting to $1000 every month known as the “Freedom Dividend.” According to his campaign website, this program would be open to “every American adult over the age of 18” and would be “[…] independent of one’s work status or any other factor.” The website goes on to say that the Freedom Dividend would “[…] enable all Americans to pay their bills, educate themselves, start businesses, be more creative, stay healthy, relocate for work, spend time with their children, take care of loved ones and have a real stake in the future.”
Was the Right really bought off so easily? Not really.
It should really come as no surprise to anyone that Trump’s reluctance to put forward a real plan of withdrawal of American troops from the Middle East, his attacks against Syria, his constant caving in towards Democratic obstructionism, his multiple failures of attempting to secure even the most meager of funding for the Wall and, to top it all off, his seemingly never ending cucking for the State of Israel, would finally get the Right’s jimmies in a collective rustle. Don’t get me wrong, I knew from day one that Trump wasn’t the ethnonationalist messiah many in the beginning dressed him up to be. We were voting for Donald Trump after all, not Moonman.
But, even despite his flaws, of which, believe me, there are many, most of us justifiably believed that Trump was the best chance we had at of least returning some modicum of sanity to this freak show called the United States. Keeping this in mind, we see that the sudden rise of the #YangGang isn’t out of genuine support or approval of Yang’s ideas; it's essentially a sigh of defeat, a proverbial throwing in of the towel.
There has been on the Right, even from its earliest incarnations, those who have thought the worse the better. Accelerationism is still an idea which holds a lot of traction in Rightist circles, though it is not one this author endorses. Even a glance at some of the memes to come out the Yang Gang phenomenon have a starkly defeatist or black-pilled tone to them. The underlying logic seems to be is that if defeat is truly certain, if the death of America as we know it is all but guaranteed, then hey, why not pocket a grand and enjoy the collapse?
While I’ve written about the destructive nature of the Black Pill in the past, I must confess there were times where even I found the situation, we find ourselves in to be more than hopeless. However, no matter how desperate things get I’ve always found that it just isn’t in my nature to be a depressive, moping sad sack. Indeed, the whole idea of accelerationism itself is absurd. Realistically, it’s nothing more than a fantasy; an idealistic projection onto the future that assumes that when things get bad enough Western man will exit out of PornHub, put away his video games and, forced by necessity, rediscover his Aryan Hyperborean virility. Such an idea can only be seriously entertained by people like a Vikernes or the socially reprobate members of Atomwaffen.
The idea behind why there hasn’t been a Western Spring being due to the fact that postmodern Western man is “too comfortable” is a tempting one and, if we’re being honest, one that I myself am somewhat sympathetic towards. However, looking back on how White people have behaved in response to displacement in the past is less than encouraging. Time and time again, whenever push came to shove, Whites have always chosen the path of least resistance. Detroit, Gary, Houston, San Antonio, Miami and Los Angeles bear witness to the White man’s primordial need to avoid conflict. The sad truth of the matter is that White people as a demographic just want to be left alone and, when met with threat of violence, will do everything in their power to resolve the situation as peaceably as possible, even if that means packing up and moving away. Why would it be any different in the future?
Much still needs to be said about the Yang Gang phenomenon and, as with every new meme to take the Right by storm, responses to it have been mixed and multifaceted. On the one hand, it has been met with contempt; seen as nothing more than the autistic shitposting of a gaggle of memers with too much time on their hands whose efforts would be better directed “doing something important.” What that “something” is, is anyone’s guess.
Writing for IdenityDixie, a guest contributor known as “Imperator” penned an article decrying the Yang Gang as a “Fellowship of the Broken.” At first, Imperator admits that he initially thought the memes were done in the ever-so-clever post-ironic sense of humor the more trollish parts of the Internet Right are known for. After all, who in their right mind would seriously support a radical leftist Chinaman?
Imperator then describes his horror when he discovers that these memes, at least in his opinion, aren’t being made in good humor. He writes:
The first thing that is blatantly obvious about the Yang support is its futility. The man is not some Trumpian candidate of the Left. Trump was, at the very least, a household name with enough fame and fortune to run a serious campaign. Andrew Yang had neither of those, and the only thing the man has going for him are a set of lofty, yet implausible, ideals. The hope that some sort of “meme magic” could propel this dead-in-the-water candidate to the forefront of the Democratic primaries is too ridiculous to even consider here. On some level everyone knows this, even those who have chosen to give their support to Yang, and this fact reveals the most about the type of travelers among us.
Imperator then goes on to describe the Trump victory in 2016, not as a resounding win for the Right, but “the first shot from the defeated side of a war that had been long lost.” He then decries, while not naming names, the failure in terms of leadership which has plagued our movement in recent times. On this last point, I would agree. There has been a stark lack of leadership on the Right at least since the days that followed Charlottesville. However, this failure of leadership isn’t due to any one person or any facet of the Right itself.
The truth of the matter is that in the months following 2016, the Right got too drunk to quickly off its own modest success. Getting to the crux of the matter, everyone who possessed even the slightest semblance of authority suddenly thought they had it what it took to be the Fuhrer of the AltRight and it was this failure to see eye to eye between the various groups and factions on the AltRight that precisely led to its undoing. Put simply, there were too many chiefs, not enough Indians.
What should have taken place would have been a mutual reconciliation between all the various circles of Right wing thought. One could be an ethnonationalist or a Christian Traditionalist or a neoreactionary, paleolibertarian, monarchist, anarcho-capitalist, etc. One could be anything under the sun so long as you implicitly agreed not to attack other people on the Right who shared your same goals, even if they didn’t share your same views.
Now, instead of having formed a united front, we are back where we were prior to 2016. Imperator claims that this is the result of there being too many “broken” people on the Right. He goes to say:
Dissident movements are… well… filled with dissident people, and plenty of those people are broken by the system. No surprise there. However, a movement that allows broken people in will go nowhere if that movement cannot either a) fix the broken people or b) remove those who cannot be fixed. Many broken people do not want to be fixed, they would rather latch onto something to destroy it, much the same way as they destroy themselves. Folks unironically advocating for Yang Gang are broken. They have given up hope in our movement’s ability to right what is wrong in society and would rather spend their time in frivolous “gibs me dat” pursuits, rather than champion ideas that can actually save our people and way of life. For those of us who are serious, we need to try to help fix these broken people so that they can help in our struggle to bring about real change or let them fall by the wayside by means of a swift boot to the ass. Keeping people around with a destructive mentality will only destroy us in the end, and this is one of the main reasons why dissident groups of the past have always failed. They have been focused on quantity, not quality.
I’m impressed with Imperator’s audacity to accuse anyone on the Right of being “broken.” If there wasn’t something wrong with us, would any of us being on the Right to begin with? I would also be hard pressed to find anyone from among our circles who hasn’t been beaten down or felt pessimistic over each new plunge into the ocean of depravity as we all rush headfirst, mouths agape, like lemmings off a cliff. Also, the mere idea that you can keep anyone, troublemaker or otherwise, out of a movement as amorphous as the dissident Right is an absurdity. Labels aside, I think I get what he is trying to say. Imperator takes issue with the fact that someone, anyone, would just consign oneself to the seemingly inevitable.
However, there are two sides to every meme and the Yang Gang has also had its share of ardent supporters. Also writing for IdentityDixie is another guest contributor, this time by the name of a Ms. Scarlet. Scarlet’s article is in many ways a reasoned response to Imperator’s and attempts to give the Yang Gang a fair hearing. Moreover, she approaches the issue from a completely different standpoint which acknowledges the decline, not only in terms of culture and values, but in financial security and wage growth as well. She begins with the realization that:
These are no longer the days of a white Southern man earning a fair dollar to guide his family through the world. As much as we would like to think we’re going bring that back, its not going to happen in Weimerica. The harsh, relentless reality is that the old world and way of life no longer exists. We cannot afford to fall back on our misdirected proud Anglo morals that instruct us to “earn an honest dollar” to support our family. Should we continue to strive for that? Absolutely. Should we stupidly adhere to a moral value that our political adversaries never held sacred? Absolutely not.
Scarlet goes on to cite the example of Alaskan families receiving a cut from that State’s oil production. She then argues that the time for talking about “muh bootstraps” is over. Other tribes of people, namely Blacks and Hispanics, have no qualms about taking Federal money to support their families and livelihoods and feel no shame for having done so. Whites, argues Scarlet, need to abandon the stigma of being on the dole as well. The argument seems to be that if the United States is a dying empire, why not take what you can before the whole thing goes belly up? She continues:
Allow me to bring something to the forefront that appears to have been forgotten in this debate: The middle class is crumbling, and we are all struggling to support our families, while minorities and illegal aliens are recipients of hundreds of billions of dollars in tax funded welfare programs. Your kids are eating PB and J for lunch and their kids are gorging themselves on food stamp luxuries, literally obese off your tax dollars – and you’re paying for their diabetes as well under a poorly written healthcare system specifically designed to burden the middle class.
If there is one thing I have never understood, it is the Right’s obsession with playing by the rules when you know the game is rigged against you. This obsession with capitalism and “making an honest living” is the talk of dumb Boomers who are stuck in 1973. The fact of the matter is that the very system our forebears designed has been reworked against us. Everything, from entitlement programs to the tax code has been repurposed to put further pressure on an already overtaxed, overburdened White middle and working class. Why, then, the insistence on playing fair? In the absurd belief in a fantastical return to 1950’s? Conservatives and libertarians keep insisting that all we need is just one more tax cut, one more program slashed, without ever realizing the true nature of the leviathan we’re dealing with.
To think that our solution lies in shrinking the size of the Federal government or encouraging private business is a fantasy. Long before the creation of the NSA and its computers which house terabyte upon terabyte of information collected from U.S. citizens, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal ensured that the Federal government of the United States would only become ever more bloated and authoritarian. At this point, any talk about a return to “rugged individualism” is an obscenity. The Rubicon has already been crossed.
Towards the end of her brief article, Ms. Scarlet concludes by reminding us of the precarious predicament that we are in. She writes:
Financial security among the middle class and the rising generations is so rampant, millennials are saying they either don’t want kids, or are delaying having kids because they are insecure financially. Insulting your brothers and sisters using outdated tropes developed 60 years ago based on the lie of the American Dream is hardly an extension of brotherly solidarity, and completely ignores the underlying message of what Yang Gang irony bros are saying: It is undeniable truth that we can no longer play fair and support our families, raise and educate our children, own property and protect our rights on one family income, while playing by outdated conservative rules and values.
Ms. Scarlet only begins to scratch the surface and, while the aforementioned is a step in the right the direction, it misses what I think is an even bigger issue lurking just beneath. While the systems of support designed to provide a safety for our most vulnerable have certainly been abused, the real significance of Yang Gang is that it expresses the same concerns that the Trump phenomenon did back in 2016, namely, the failure of our society’s ability to properly address the anxieties and problems facing our young men. The greatest resource a nation has is the blood, brains and labor of its young men. And, speaking as a relatively young man myself, we need to ask ourselves one very pertinent question regarding our place in society: what do we have to gain?
Every now and then I find myself returning to this single question. If we’re living in a culture that hates us, marginalizes our concerns, condemns us for our imagined privilege and makes us into scapegoats for every evil that befalls it, why even bother contributing to its perpetuation? Sure, there are probably a great many reasons why it’s a good idea not to be a bum, but what are the bad reasons for not dropping out of a system that fundamentally despises your existence?
I think this is the matter that Yang Gang gets to. It’s not that young men on the Right want to be disaffected, childless, alone and deeply unhappy. It's just they don’t have any other choice. While it's hard to say how many young able-bodied men are out of work, a March report from Measure for America from 2017 estimates the number is 4.9 million based on a sample of 16-24-year-olds.
If you’re on the Right, chances are your journey here first started with the dawning realization that something was seriously wrong with the present state of affairs in America and the West. Whether that issue was democracy, equality, feminism or multiculturalism, you eventually came to where you are now because you discovered that you had been lied too, not because you are “broken.” If you were, I guarantee you’d be on the Left instead.
Again, it’s not that the young men of the West want to be NEETs, it's just that they feel that the societies that they grew up in are no longer the one’s they know and love. This is a topic I have already written at length about. In a perfect world, in a perfect America, every young man would have a cute girl around his arm, money in his pocket and would be a homeowner by age 25. Alas, this is neither a perfect world nor a perfect America.
Young men are naturally idealistic and the one’s that I have met who are responsive to our ideas desperately want something to believe in, something to fight for. Drawing from personal experience, I can’t even begin to describe how many times I’ve been told in private conversation by close friends and acquaintances of their desire to either live the ascetic life of a monk far away from this crumbling civilization or to go out in a pool of their own blood like Mishima or Venner.
The problem isn’t that nationalism is dead, it’s just that we are nationalists without a nation. If America, or the West for that matter, cannot truly be made great again then it follows that the only thing worth fighting for is our own petty self-interests. There’s little point in talking about the importance of the family to a childless man or the significance of one’s nation to someone who is already a stranger in his own country. A society, when it becomes bereft of the original people who founded it, eventually becomes an intrusive, intermeshing web of corporate and legal institutions overseen by an increasingly repressive government that only really exists to prop up an ever-expansive series of welfare programs and entitlements designed to placate a deracinated mass of debt-servitors.
An old proverb states that “in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king.” Likewise, in a mass society such as ours where tens of millions of rootless cosmopolitans trudge every morning to jobs that they hate and live among people whom they no longer identify with, the only one’s truly capable of revolt are those who have opted out entirely. NEETs have become the only true nationalists.
What I am suggesting is by no means intended to be a real solution for all the ills that we as movement and as a civilization are currently facing. I don’t have the answers to our present problems. I doubt anyone does, at least for the time being. It’s this aura of uncertainty which makes Yang Gang so relevant to the current atmosphere of bitter disappointment and perceived helpless that many of us are feeling. Whether America and the West gets its long-sought for savior or just ends up dying in its own filth and corruption is a matter of speculation, and quite frankly I don’t think either scenario is possible or desirable. In the meantime, though, we might as well get that cash bag.