Keyboard Warriors and Magicians
March 18, 2015 (Corrected Sep. 4)

Words and magic were in the beginning one and the same thing, and even to-day words retain much of their magical power. -- Sigmund Freud
Some people say, "We need action, not words!" and refer derisively to humble bloggers such as myself as "keyboard warriors." It is a wrong-headed attitude. A more meaningful distinction is between words that make a difference and words that don't.

Challenge the Lies

The political system in the U.S.A. rests on a huge foundation of lies. Challenging these lies has gotten many people in trouble. If you follow Dissident Right Web Logs you know about the lies. You also know about some of the casualties.

The fact that lies are so fundamental to the existing political structure means that we can attack the establishment by attacking the lies. The main lie is that differences in achievement between black Americans and white Americans are the result of discrimination and bigotry. This lie should be challenged every time it appears. Challenge it with letters to the editor, posts on news-related comment threads, direct discussion when it is possible and blog entries like mine.

This is a formula. Challenge the lies. Call it a "rule for dissident right-wingers" if you like. Many postings on this blog are applications of that formula.

Challenge Individuals

Another formula is to challenge individuals -- liberals, radicals, anti-racist activists, SJWs (Social Justice Warriors), establishment Republicans and similar creatures. If one such type writes something stupid, I might blog about it, explaining the stupidity and always looking down on the person who wrote it. Writing is like dancing. A lot of people think they are good at it, but their words are silly and can be ridiculed. We need a bit of insight into the psychology of ridicule. If you are unsure of yourself and you watch TV sitcoms where characters are taunted for their ineptitude, you might internalize the negativity and stay off the dance floor. We want our political enemies to internalize our negativity.

When a politician or journalist or university president gets nasty, I will respond with nasty criticism if I feel like it. Nastiness seems to work on big shots, but usually I avoid it.

We are criticized by the usual suspects for spewing hatred, or whatever. On those unfortunately rare occasions when someone checks us out to see what the fuss is and find a few punchy, well-reasoned critiques, we might have a convert.

Comment Threads

I don't aim my remarks at the person I might be criticizing on a comment threat, I aim them at other participants. If I post something critical of Barak Obama, I do not expect him to read it. This is even more true on a hostile comment thread. I do not advocate spamming or being an a**hole for no good reason, but I don't care if the person I'm replying to gets the point or not. If a few of the people following the thread get the point, that's good enough.

Uncommon Search Terms

The trick for us is to get those challenges in front of as many people as possible in the hope that some might change their perspectives. I use two techniques to achieve this. The first is: write about local people, local situations. Things, in other words, that are not common search terms. This will put your article higher up on search result lists.

Link to Major Web Sites

Another technique is to let major sites do the challenging. I'll write a short entry giving my own thoughts, etc., but I'll put links to relevant articles on a major site. I might not get much search engine traffic this way, but I usually put links to my new posts on my web site's main index page, so my posts do get read, even without any special click bait. I like to think that my efforts help a few people learn about American Renaissance or VDare.com or Takimag.com or counter-currents.com.

Those techniques are best used in combination. See, for example, my article Columbia High and the Farce of Proportionalism. The text of that article is nothing special. It's the kind of thing you can find on conservative or dissident right web logs all the time. I do not mention it to show off. I want you to understand the technique. It links to an article in the New York Times, to a post on American Renaissance and to one of my own articles. I got a fair amount of traffic from people searching for "Columbia High School" or for the names of individuals mentioned in the piece. A few readers might have clicked to link to AmRen.

The thing is, "big hairy local controversy triggered by some 'disproportion'" happens dozens or even hundreds of times every year. It would be great if every such occurrence could be subjected to critical commentary.

Words! Words! Words!

Proper use of words counts as "action." Think about the effects of new media at various moments in history. Movable type enabled a protestant revolution around 500 years ago. Radio helped the Nazis come into power. The American Civil Rights and anti-war movements would not have happened without television. The Iranian Revolution was strengthened by the use of audio cassette tapes. A California Supreme Court Justice lost an election due to a campaign that made heavy use of video cassette tapes.

Our own movement would be close to nothing without the internet. My ideas here are one approach to using it effectively. It does not matter what else you do on your own web log. Write about anything you like. Get some traffic. Get readers for your politically significant posts.

It would really help if you linked to this article from your blog or from dissident right comment threads. If re-posting this works for you, go ahead, I won't sue you.

Some of us spend too much time fantasizing about a mass movement. Let me preach: People in the choir!! Have the good sense to do those small things that make small but real differences. Enough of those small differences will add up to a big difference. When enough lies have been challenged, the truth will become common knowledge and people will be unafraid to talk about it. See? Doing the little things today will prepare the way for a tipping point tomorrow.

I like doing what I do but it is not warfare. I'm using words in the hope of making things happen in remote places. That is a job for a magician.
 

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