Back in January I briefly touched upon the appearance of a minuscule if surprisingly vociferous neo-right tendency in Ireland, with a handful of usually anonymous individuals using the likes of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to disseminate explicitly hateful opinions or “fake news” across the internet, consistent with the initial tactics of the alt-right movement in the United Kingdom and the United States. In recent months some of these figures have enjoyed the patronage of several fellow-travellers in the mainstream Irish and British press and the approval of the toxic National Party and the Nigel Farage-backed Irexit Freedom to Prosper (or whatever the fringe grouping is calling itself these days). However, it seems that the would-be Irish movement may have pushed its luck a bit too far following the publication of a widely condemned article in The Burkean, an online publication which began life in 2017 as a student magazine for the libertarian set at Trinity College, with funding from a well-known right-wing entrepreneur. The controversial piece focused on questions of national and ethno-racial IQs and the role of genetics in such matters, and… Well, you get the picture.
This led to the following response from some of its former editorial team and backers, via the Twitter feed of the hard-right agitator John McGuirk:
So far, the team at The Burkean has continued to defend the offending article, on some rather slippery semantic grounds, while the magazine’s original founders have attempted to dissociate themselves from the publication. Hopefully the controversy will put some manners on those right-wingers and Christian fundamentalists who think that they can ride on the coat tails of the gateway drug that is the alt-right tendency to gain influence and status in this country.
What I hope you aren’t dealing with in Ireland is an overlooked group of people who seems to be a major part of the New Right in many countries.
I call them the Suicide Nihilists. I don’t know how prevalent they are in some countries. It’s clear to me that they are fairly common among the ultra-Right in France, Russia, Israel and Netherlands (as I’ve seen them there), but harder to say about Britain and Ireland as I haven’t directly observed one in either country. In the US it’s clear to me that these Suicide Nihilists are a major faction of Trump’s hard core supporters (probably greater in number than the White Nationalists and such), that get missed by the “economic distress vs racism” argument. Other terms for this have been “Nihilistic Glee”, “Politics of Total Retaliation”, and “Jim Jones Politics”-the last term IS based on a realistic picture of the Jonestown where most of the people were forced to “drink” under gunpoint, often held down, with those who could run away often being machine gunned down, not the myth that they all voluntarily did so like lemnings. Other people
I hope Ireland doesn’t have many people with The Suicide Nihilism (haven’t been there in a few years and never met one while I was there), as I wouldn’t wish large numbers of them on any country. Unfortunately, there are circumstances like the Church Sexual Abuse Scandals, the same hollowness that’s affected a lot of European and the modern world in general etc.
Wow, when it’s too much for McGuirk. The article itself is woo. They mention Murray but not Lynn – who has long peddled a line about IQ that to give an example of its robustness argued that the Irish were also low IQ and this accounted for our lamentable economic performance during independence… then oops – in the last twenty twenty five years said performance goes up and up, even accounting for depressions, and his theory goes up in flames. The real oddity is that anyone would believe in a world where Europeans oversaw attempted genocides both in Europe and Africa (and I guess arguably in America) in the last 150 years alone (and clear indifference to mass deaths on this island during that broad period during the famine) that anyone could cloak themselves in some sort of weird ‘better than thou’ line in relation to one group of humans over another. The Burkean crew need to face facts, we’re all pretty rubbish.
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Where am dat watty melon?