Tuesday, October 6, 2020

MORE THINKING ON THE PROUD BOYS

Michael Lumish

I find myself increasingly curious about the so-called "Proud Boys."
Primarily I am interested in their use by others in the current Presidential campaign. The mainstream media almost always refers to them as violent and "extreme right-wing" and racist. They portray the group, small as it is, as a White Supremacist threat that is deeply antisemitic.
The founder of the group, Gavin McInnes did, in fact, do a satirical on-air bit entitled, "10 Things I Hate About The Jews." It is thus not difficult to see how many people would think him antisemitic.
Attached in my first comment below is a discussion from about a year ago between McInnes and his producer at Vice Media wherein they chew over the accusations of antisemitism.
Leaving aside for the moment questions specifically around antisemitism, I want to look at what they say about themselves. In Proud Boy Magazine, which seems to be their official outlet, they list the following tenets of their belief system. Let's go through them one-by-one and see how they may see themselves on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 representing "extreme left-wing" and 10 representing "extreme right-wing."
{These judgments are my own. Naturally, your mileage may vary.}
1) Minimal Government (7)
This is a standard tenet of right-leaning ideology in the United States and, in and of itself, cannot be taken as "extremist."
2) Maximum Freedom (5)
This is an idea that could easily be assigned to the counterculture of the 1960s and contemporary libertarians alike.
3) Anti-Political Correctness (7)
They get no argument from me there.
4) Anti-Drug War (5)
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and know not a soul who favors anything akin to Reagan's "War on Drugs." This is not just a libertarian view, but a left-wing view.
5) Closed Borders (8)
The Proud Boys are not particularly fond of immigration. My only question is if they are opposed to illegal immigration or to all immigration. The first position is well within respectable American discussion. The second is not.
6) Anti-Racial Guilt (3)
Indeed, holding people responsible for the alleged guilt of the forbears and according to skin color is entirely opposed to the ideals of Martin Luther King, Jr. and was, until fairly recently, a distinctly left-leaning value.
7) Anti-Racism (5)
And speaking of MLK, Jr., anti-racism has been the signature issue of the western progressive-left since at least Brown v. Board of Education (1954). This is not a position associated with the extreme right-wing. In fact, pretty much all Americans, left, right, and center, oppose racism.
8) Pro-Free Speech (1st Amendment) (5)
One of the most important aspects of the Movement of the 1960s was the free speech movement kicked off by Mario Savio at UCAL Berkeley in the early years of that decade.
9) Pro-Gun Rights (2nd Amendment) (7)
Yes, well, it is in the Constitution, now, isn't it? Pro-gun rights is generally considered a right-wing stance, but not an extreme right-wing stance. It is part of the typical American political conversation.
10) Glorifying the Entrepreneur (5)
It hardly gets more American than that. This is a common North American value that is usually honored throughout the right-wing, the center, and most of the Democratic Party. This stance is center/center-right.
11) Venerating the Housewife (9)
This is absolutely Father Knows Best territory. It is directly out of sentimental 1950s Americana and, needless to say, it is sexist as hell. This is their most far-right stance. This is extremist far-right, in a Western contemporary context.
And finally:
12) Reinstating a Spirit of Western Chauvinism (7)
I love this notion in its various connotations and aspects. McInnes, as a right-wing political gadfly and humorist -- who may not actually have that much to do with the Proud Boys these days -- used the word "chauvinist" to yank the feminist chain.
However, leaving that antifeminist elbow aside, the idea of "Western Chauvinism" is a call to classical liberalism. By "Western Chauvinism," unless I am being too generous, the PB's mean the tradition of political liberalism as derived from Magna Carta, enunciated in the Constitution of the United States and coming to its height with the Civil Rights Movement under MLK, JR.
So, on a scale of 1 to 10 just where do the Proud Boys see themselves politically? My number is 6.
If you add the numbers above you get 73 as a total out of 12 official ideological tenets. 73 divided by 12 is 6. And that position on a scale of 1 to 10 is not extreme.
Of course, not being a sociologist, I am using a very crude metric, but I think that it is probably reasonably accurate as to how the group sees itself.
None of this is to suggest that the Proud Boys live up to their own ideals. In truth, I've never met anyone who has. Nor is it to suggest that individual PBs contradict any number of the tenets listed above.
But, again, my main question concerning these people is why their advancement into the media spotlight during this political moment?

Whose purpose do they serve?

And please feel free to tell me where you disagree with my numerical assignments.

6 comments:

  1. I could quibble with a few of the numerical assessments, but that's neither here nor there. You get to the crux near the end which is, why are they suddenly in the spotlight? Because tag team Biden/Wallace put them there. Unbelievably, they are a cudgel to use against Trump (who said he's never heard of them, who had?), and to get Biden over the top.
    Proud Boys is just another point of deflection for the media and the MADA crowd or MAOA's.
    The Proud Boys are Russia!, they are Ukraine, they are Stormy, and Taxes, and Richard Spencer, Charlottesville, trusted anonymous sources and anonymous whistle blowers, FISA warrants, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, and COVID-19, abstractions to be used in the quest for political power.

    They are going to show Trump and his 60 million plus irredeemably deplorables just who is running the show around here.
    BTW, rumor has it that once notorious Richard Spencer, B.P.B. (before Proud Boys) has endorsed Joe Biden. Where are those hard hitting questions for the former vice president?

    Leave it to the Democrats, MSM, and Big Tech. The campaign against the sitting president keeps coming back to the same short laundry list of sins, i.e., racist, liar, and misogynist.
    So who is their nominee? A man with a long of cozy and friendly relations with segregationists who said that "very fine people" display the Confederate Flag (you just can't make this stuff up!), and other intemperate racial policy remarks, who has plagiarized others and lied about himself repeatedly, used his office to enrich family members, and who can't keep his paws of women.
    CNN called his debate performance 'mostly accurate'.
    It is a sad day in this country when we have to count the MSM as partisan political actors. "Da, we can!"
    Thank you, Mike, for indulging me. End of rant.


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  2. If you have not seen this, you should. The comments and viewer comments are amazing. It gives one hope.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flp7gKg5G4E

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    1. I was actually watching that video last week. Have been watching it in snippets. I bright, thinking and mature young woman. There are those who question what people tell them to think. On the other hand there are those who don't - the latter can be found on facebook, and other sites on the interwebz. The questions are: are they representative of a majority and the sinking of starship USA, or, How much does social media contribute to their indoctrination of the hatred of Western Civilization?

      An observation about TDS
      The #1 reason people hate President Trump is......they're told to.

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    2. At 28:56
      "This is a guy from Queens kind of talking like a guy from Queens."

      I said this very thing to a lefty associate way back after Trump first took office. I was told firmly that I was wrong about this by a guy from Pittsburgh. BTW, I'm from Queens, but that didn't matter.

      This goes along with some creepy FB ad from "Occupy Democrats" propagandists with "10 ways Trump is a Nazi." I said it didn't stand up to even the most cursory scrutiny. Again, an old high school acquaintance told me I was absolutely wrong, that the entire post was dead accurate. I told him I have a university degree in German. It doesn't matter. When I asked him for any proof whatsoever, he told me he didn't have to prove anything. This is life today in Left World.

      It's like Thomas Sowell said, i.e., that the left sees facts as optional.

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  3. It seems the Proud Boys are dimming because they turned out not to be White Supremacists, but now we have the Wolverine Watchmen! This group, which (if I recall correctly) is not even listed among FBI domestic terrorism organizations.

    They are almost always referred to as "militia" and that word has definite right-wing connotations, but I have seen articles suggesting that they are more closely associated with Antifa.

    What I feel reasonably certain of, tho, is that the MSM has downplayed 4 months of BLM/Antifa rioting, looting, arson, violence, and murder and is searching for a right-wing group that can be used to divert attention.

    This is not to suggest that the threat on the governor's life should be downplayed. But there are definite questions concerning what get's played-up and what is downplayed for political reasons in the media.

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    1. The media has been downplaying BLM and Antifa, and looking for a more right wing and white supremacist scapegoat? Are ya sure about that, laddie? LMAO

      Progressives I meet seem to believe that those who point out left wing violence as a problem are woefully ignorant of right wing quackery.
      As if a Jew doesn't know or isn't aware that white supremacists don't like Jews. They can't seem to wrap their heads around the fact that it is the Left which has been making antisemitic discourse acceptable all the while splitting hairs about Zionism. Now the NYT is teaming up with Beinart to destroy a UN member state, because they claim it doesn't measure up to their Judaism ("their truth"), which, BTW, is complete and utter bull shit. These are just excuses for motives which are much darker and ugly. We need these whack-a-doodles like a hole in the head. Sure, they'll fail, but how many people will get hurt on account of their hubris and loathing.

      There is the scapegoating of Orthodox Jews in New York by His Highness Herr Mayor Warren Wilhelm von Jungle Fever* and Governor Cuomo (A German and an Italian again, a New York Axis! LOL) If those Jews only rioted for BLM, then no problem.

      *Just so you'll know, I have no problems with mixed race couples. This is just my take on DeBlasio, a 3rd rate schmuck if I ever saw one.

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