Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right

Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right

Angela Nagle / Dec 11, 2019

Kill All Normies Online Culture Wars from chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt Right Recent years have seen a revival of the heated culture wars of the s but this time its battle ground is the internet On one side the alt right ranges from the once bizarre neo reactionary and whi

  • Title: Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right
  • Author: Angela Nagle
  • ISBN: 9781785355448
  • Page: 370
  • Format: ebook
  • Recent years have seen a revival of the heated culture wars of the 1990s, but this time its battle ground is the internet On one side the alt right ranges from the once bizarre neo reactionary and white separatist movements, to geeky subcultures like 4chan, to mainstream manifestations such as the Trump supporting gay libertarian Milo Yiannopolous On the other sidRecent years have seen a revival of the heated culture wars of the 1990s, but this time its battle ground is the internet On one side the alt right ranges from the once bizarre neo reactionary and white separatist movements, to geeky subcultures like 4chan, to mainstream manifestations such as the Trump supporting gay libertarian Milo Yiannopolous On the other side, a culture of struggle sessions and virtue signalling lurks behind a therapeutic language of trigger warnings and safe spaces The feminist side of the online culture wars has its equally geeky subcultures right through to its mainstream expression Kill All Normies explores some of the cultural genealogies and past parallels of these styles and subcultures, drawing from transgressive styles of 60s libertinism and conservative movements, to make the case for a rejection of the perpetual cultural turn.

    • Free Read [Suspense Book] ☆ Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right - by Angela Nagle ✓
      370 Angela Nagle
    • thumbnail Title: Free Read [Suspense Book] ☆ Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right - by Angela Nagle ✓
      Posted by:Angela Nagle
      Published :2019-09-25T05:11:27+00:00

    About "Angela Nagle"

      • Angela Nagle

        Angela Nagle is a writer whose work has appeared in The Baffler, Current Affairs and Jacobin Her first book, Kill All Normies Online culture wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt Right was recently released by Zero Books.


    1. I originally didn't want to read this book, only having read a few excerpts whining about Tumblr (more specifically, trigger warnings and gender identity) that made me not want to touch it. The book kept popping up on my newsfeed, and so I decided to read it to see if it fulfills its hype (Spoiler alert: it doesn't). In the past, I spent 2 years on 4chan (on /b/) and 2+ years on Tumblr (following liberals and then marxists). That normally means nothing, but Nagle doesn't cite a single sentence i [...]

    2. I was expecting to be interested in this, but I didn't expect to be so impressed by it. Angela Nagle writes so even-handedly and with such a fair critical eye about recent iterations of disruptive political groupings on both the right and left. On the right is the now-notorious alt-right, divided between the 'alt-light', typified by meme-making/gleefully antagonistic trolling/use of 4chan-derived argot, and the more genuinely fascistic tendencies often masked by the headline-grabbing behaviour o [...]

    3. Some interesting stuff on various internet subcultures, but otherwise yeesh. Nagle is willing to sympathise with the bigoted subcultures present on 4chan/reddit in order to fully interpret the ideas & motivations behind their politics, but is largely unwilling to do the same with tumblr, even when they stem from legitimate grievances. She seems to have it in for trigger warnings in particular, culminating in this winning line:Trigger warnings had to be issued in order to avoid the unexpected [...]

    4. A book that makes a compelling case that sociopathy is in fact a bad thing.Also, that nerds are actually much worse than jocks. A highly unsympathetic cyber genealogy of the 'alt-right' that is at the same time an unsparing account of the vicious stupidity of woke liberal twitter shaming. Reading it will likely leave you in a state of deep despair and misanthropy. Hard to avoid the conclusion that we simply lack the intellectual tools to escape collective ruin.*A truly terrible review from Count [...]

    5. tl;dr: Eh ¯\_(ツ)_/¯Nagle brings a lot of valuable research and firsthand reporting to helping people make sense of the various facets of the alt-right, but it wasn't nearly as compelling as I was expecting from a book about the internet communities that have emerged in the past decade. The best parts are the really detailed outlines of the various factions of the right's anti-feminist and white supremacist groups, as well as the philosophical explanations of the anti-moral subversive nature [...]

    6. I was very disappointed by this book. I grew up on and with the Internet and I love reading about culture wars. However, in addition to inexcusably sloppy editing and bad writing (Please, someone ask Angela Nagle about "Barak" Obama or Peter "Theil," or why she's apparently on a first name basis with Milo Yiannopoulos despite consistently referring to others by their surnames), the book lacks any kind of affection for any of these subcultures. That is, I would have expected her to take a side. A [...]

    7. "What the Tumblrites embody is a taxonomical politics which is driven (drive in psychoanalytic terms) by the techno-fetishist belief in pure communication and individual empowerment. It is in this way that language has become so central to politics. The clarification of terms, the bracketing of difference and the weighing of utterances from different subject positions, cis-males at the bottom, all attempt to make the banality of online life urgent and political. In a manner that mirrors the data [...]

    8. edit: its only about 3 months old, but has already aged poorlymedium/@differengenera/ a fun, easy read, but drifts off into some very sketchy territory, especially when discussing tumblr and trigger warnings. Completely put off by the following quotation, where Nagle seems think that you can't get PTSD from anything other than war: "Trigger warnings had to be issued in order to avoid the unexpectedly high number of young women who had never gone to war claiming to have post-traumatic stress [...]

    9. This is what cultural criticism should be: it draws on academic theory while remaining readable, is capable of impassioned polemic and clear partisanship while remaining relentlessly fair regarding matters of fact, and in general, it knows its stuff. (Like Nagle, I am perhaps overly familiar with the forms of online discourse she describes; and that she was able to do so so accurately makes me trust her on everything else - for instance, on the fascinating history of how representations of "the [...]

    10. First of all: Holy shit. This is a book that I have been waiting to read for quiet some time now, but the level of insight and highly comprehensive discussion of what is going on in the cultural wars on the Web by Nagle exceeded my expectations. It reminded me of early works by Naomi Klein which combined the journalistic approach to the material at hand with detailed, but still accessible discussion of the theoretical aspect of the subject.Nagle discusses the ongoing (or lost?) cultural war betw [...]

    11. Pretty terrible. Sympathises with the alt-right while providing a weak analysis of the left, and ultimately seems to blame the left for the rise of the right.

    12. Interesting run-down of certain internet subcultures and how they've fueled, and been fueled by, the current political climate. However, the lack of citations and formless flow had me head-scratching in quite a few places. Also needed a good editorial polish as well. Great topic, but the execution wasn't all it could be.It DID illuminate me on just WTF it was I saw happening on the internet during the 2016 election, though. I didn't witness everything Nagle describes, but I saw enough to be conf [...]

    13. Nagle's account of the rise of the alt-right is rendered analytically useless by a largely uncritical repetition of alt-right mythology (are they actually reacting to Tumblr, or to empowerment?), a failure to account for power structures, race-blindness (whither Black Lives Matter?), hostility to the entire concept of marginalized groups making particular claims, ignorance of many continuities (money and all) with and historical precedents for right-wing 'transgressive' racism and misogyny, and [...]

    14. Can't recommend this one highly enough. And to everyone. Essential to understanding how the death spiral of our national discourse *can only be understood dialectically.* Nagle makes the compelling case that the success of the alt-right and what she calls the alt-light (not really overtly Nazi, more capitalizing on the newfound glamour of fascist thought) in their endeavor to shift American culture toward a misogynistic, overtly racist direction is rooted in the so-called left's reliance on the [...]

    15. Fairly honest reporting on the nihilistic (insert whatever dark thought you want because it is out there) culture online and the rise of the Alt-right which uses transgression of the (old) new left and uses it to put forth a Nietzschean vision of a carnival of hate that more and more is spilling into real life. The author portrays it with a cooler head than I can. Basically, check out the comment threads and videos of youtube and you will see it. Some of it is merely trolling for the lulz but be [...]

    16. I was looking forward to this but was really disappointed after reading it. It's massively under-researched, with some extremely dubious conclusions that the critical theory stuff doesn't help support. Read my full review here: medium/@curple.turnle/i-d

    17. Putting aside for a moment that the book would be entirely opaque to anyone who hasn't lived it; that it is in urgent need of every kind of editing from content to organizational to basic copy (e.g."Aids crisis" on pg. 63); that the author believes political horseshoe theory, that military combat veterans are the only people who can truly lay claim to PTSD, that The Young Turks are a great leftist news site, and that MRAs seek egalitarianism; the conflation of feminism and the sexual revolution; [...]

    18. A shockingly comprehensive read in just 100 pages. I'll definitely need to reread it to absorb all of it, but (to me) the main themes were:* Society changed significantly between the 2012 and 2016 elections, mostly as the result of online subcultures breaking into the real world (from the Left and Right) and stealing ground from the center-left and center-right.* The Alt-Right has copied tactics from the Left circa 1960-now in order to successfully win a lot of followers, media attention and pow [...]

    19. I believe this book has the highest standard deviation of review scores of any book I’ve read on , which for movies is a good indicator of a cult classic.I’m not an extremely on-line politics person, so I found this to be an really concise and useful guide to the roots of the on-line right and how it all ties in to today’s broader political climate.In those old John Hughes movies the rich jock kids were always the bad guys. Well, it turns out the shy, nerdy kids are actually way, way worse [...]

    20. I realize it was sort of wimpy not to review this just because I couldn't write a magisterial synopsis of the state of public discourse, and why 2016 was the gamergate election, however many or few people realized this.I liked the book, although I am to the right of the author politically. Glancing at the GR reviews, I see all the one star reviews are from what she calls Tumblr liberals, which is actually a less precise name than SJWs, because there is nothing liberal about them. Puritanical, ye [...]

    21. Slight and underedited, though certainly not the anti-identity polemic it’s been made out to be by uncharitable fellow lefties. I’d still recommend Nagle’s “The New Man Of 4chan” from the Baffler over this if you were going to read one thing on the topic (plus that one is but Chapter 6 here, about the subcultural internet’s relationship to mainstream culture, is also worthwhile.

    22. Szkic. Świetnie opisuje ciemne zakątki internetu i subkultury tam obecne, ale nie daje rady przekuć tego da głębszą analizę i wnioski.Brakuje jakiejś esencji i wizji. A to, co się wyłania z tej książki jest tak ciemne, że brakuje sił na cokolwiek. Ja się poczułem trochę wyssany z energii.Koniecznie czytać razem z omawianym w jednym z rozdziałów artykułem Fishera, "Exiting the Vampire Castle".

    23. The entire discourse around ‘normies’ and ‘basic bitches’ who ‘don’t get’ the countercultural styles of the amoral subculture takes me back to my adolescent days of rival music subcultures, but now it’s with grown men and some more serious political stuff at stake. Richard Spencer regularly accuses those who fail to find the return of race separatism edgy and cool, of being normies and basic bitches. Mike Cernovich was interviewed by the New York Times and said Hillary Clinton’ [...]

    24. A pretty great bit of critical theory about how the alt-right have arrived to they are, although it's let down by some bizarrely vituperative passages about the identity politics of Tumblr. Nagle proposes an interesting idea about the concept of the radical outsider who rejects mainstream morality and instead seeks his own identity, an idea that can be traced from De Sade through to Nietzche until you get to the counter-culture of the 60s.They tried to weaponise moral transgression as a way of b [...]

    25. Kill all normies is an interesting book, well-written and equall well-aruged. I'd recommend it for this alone, even though I will need to spend some time digesting the arguments, and formulating my counter-arguments. While I agree with some of the descriptions made Nagle, I can't say I agree with all of them, and it tends towards the moralistic and narrow-mindedness at times. This serves her argument well, but it doesn't sit well with me. It did however offer some interesting perspevtives and ar [...]

    26. Nagle does a good job of laying out and explaining many of the alt-right's pet tropes and running jokes, but her analysis is really disappointing and ultimately buys into the right's same errant argument that "politics is downstream of culture". For a lot of the '90s and '00s, that assertion seemed to be true, as neoliberal aims took over both parties and so much of the material basis of politics went off-limits. When culture war is the entire game, of course it's going to seem like the most imp [...]

    27. I have a complicated personal history with 4chan (I cringe when I think of how much time I used to spend on /b/ when I was younger) so I was really looking forward to the opportunity to read about it from a more journalistic point of view.Ultimately, while I agreed with a lot of her points, I can't say I'm an unreserved fan (though my issues are more stylistic than content-based). Mainly it just seemed like it could have used another editing pass. There were some minor typos (like "Peter Theil" [...]

    28. Goes very well with The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. Surprisingly balanced and short tour of the multiple "online culture wars" of the new millennium and the rise of alt-right and tumblr left-identitarian politics.

    29. Really interesting critical analysis of Internet countercultures on both the left and the right, and how it's affected modern politics offline. I found this book's critique of the online left particularly sobering, and I can't help but feel that the left's aggression toward and alienation of those not in the 'in-group' will cost us dearly for years to come.

    30. The biggest flaw in Whitney Phillips's 2015 book This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things is that, in analyzing the phenomenon of subcultural internet trolls on sites like 4Chan's /b/ board, the author claims that the type of racism, misogyny, stalking, doxxing, rape threats and outright dickishness found of these dark corners of the internet is best explained as a mere amplification of the mainstream right rhetoric one can find on Fox News or conservative websites. In doing so, Phillips ignores th [...]

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