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    “Back to a Past that Was Futuristic”: The Alt-Right and the uncanny form of racism

    Topinka, Robert (2019) “Back to a Past that Was Futuristic”: The Alt-Right and the uncanny form of racism. b2o: an online journal , ISSN 2639-7250.

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    Abstract

    Through an analysis of alt-right meme practice and neoreactionary theory, I show that the intellectual innovation of the alt-right and its neoreactionary co-travelers is to attach white identity politics to a critique of modernity that turns postcolonialism on its head. Where the latter attacks racism for compromising the democratic promise, the former attacks democracy for compromising the white race’s promise, which is to accelerate capitalism to the lost Hobbesian future of the CEO-King, a vision implied in Peter Thiel’s words quoted in the epigraph to this article. Neoreactionaries have resurrected nineteenth-century notions of racial degenerationism and race as civilizational index, sutured them to techno-futurism, and deployed this monstrous racist hybrid in the form of left and postcolonial critiques of modernity. The components of this thinking are familiar, but this precise combination is novel. The intellectual and aesthetic practice of the alt-right can thus be described as uncanny: strange but entirely familiar, a return in the present of a repressed past. My argument, in short, is that the alt-right’s newness is in fact a symptom of its oldness.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Arts > Film, Media and Cultural Studies
    Depositing User: Robert Topinka
    Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 13:53
    Last Modified: 21 Nov 2019 07:27
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/28019

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